What a surprise…
Talks to avoid a parliamentary showdown and a possible snap election have bogged down as parties haggle over the finer details of a deal to let MPs view uncensored Afghan detainee records.
Bloc Québécois House Leader Pierre Paquette suggested the parties are still significantly divided as he emerged from morning negotiations Thursday with the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP.
“The government put other conditions on the table,” Mr. Paquette told reporters. “Their position is not the same . . . so we are far from a solution.”
What could possibly be going on?
…the negotiations into which the government has lately entered are in all likelihood a diversion. The aim is to stall, and probe for divisions within and between the parties, notably the Liberals’ palpable fear of an election. The differences between government and opposition will be made to appear as if they were over questions of detail, rather than fundamental principles. So that when, inevitably, the negotiations break down, the government will sigh and claim that it went the extra mile, as it strove to balance its conflicting obligations, but was thwarted by an intransigent and unreasonable opposition.
So the question is, will the opposition allow themselves to be played in this way? Will they heed the voices telling them that this is not worth fighting an election over? Will they chicken out? Or will they, you should pardon the expression, man up?
UPDATE, FRIDAY 11 AM: It seems, notwithstanding my explicit predictions to the contrary, that they have a deal. Facts 1, Coyne 0.