ITQ will be roaming the halls for the rest of the afternoon, searching for someone — anyone, really – who knows what’s going on here – or, at the very least, can at least convincingly fake it. Check back for updates — not sure how regular, that depends on how the rest of the afternoon unfolds — but in the meantime, feel free to use this as a semi-open thread to boggle over the latest developments and trade conspiracy theories. Wish me luck!
Well, the meeting has reportedly concluded – at least, *someone* is reporting that, so let’s go with it – but nobody knows what happens next — will there be back to back press conferences? A joint press conference? A fauxterview with Senator Mike Duffy? Who knows! Welcome to the souldraining nexus of misheard rumour and speculation known as the Foyer.
We have a semi-official bulletin, courtesy of RDI: According to PMO spokestierack Dimitri Soudas, the two had a “productive, courteous meeting”, and have agreed to meet *further* this afternoon.
Translation: The offer(s) and/or demand(s) have been proferred/received, and now the two sides are heading back to their respective corners to come up with a reply. Which means we’re going to be here for a while, and no, at this point, there’s just no way for us to know — say it with me now — what’s going on.
It’s going to be a very long night.
You know, given the collective rage that was pouring from the opposition benches during QP today, I am absolutely at a loss to know how the Liberals – or any other party – can come out and claim to have confidence in a government that they’ve basically accused of misleading the House, and Canadians, on what the fate of the stimulus package would be if the estimates aren’t passed this week. Anyone else?
Also, on the whole “progress” on employment insurance — wasn’t the proposal to make self-employed workers eligible for EI already announced in the budget? If that’s all the PM had to say during this afternoon’s meeting, I don’t quite understand how Ignatieff can tick that item off his checklist, because if it wasn’t good enough before today, why is it suddenly acceptable now?
Okay, that was meta — back in the Hot Room for a few minutes, getting caught up on what The People Inside The TV are saying about the prospect of peace in our time, and caught Don Newman giving a shoutout to Canadian Press *and* macleans.ca for our debunkenings of the claim that stimulus spending would dry up if the estimates didn’t go through.
Back to the Foyer – which is now less like a Heironymous Bosch painting, and more like an open concept TV studio, which is its normal state during the half hour or so before the panels start convening. No word on the next round of meetings — I’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything, officially or unofficially.
Oh boy, it’s Political Junkie NewsHour! Now we’ll find out what *really* happened behind closed doors. (Clearly, the cumulative stress of the last 48 hours or so has rendered ITQ delirious.)
Actually, as Susan Bonner is currently pointing out on CBC Newsworld, the fact that none of the usually chatty party sources – even those closest to their respective leaders – are letting even the ghost of a hint slip out is actually interesting in a dog-that-didn’t-bark-in-the-night sort of way. It either means things are going well – or well enough that nobody wants to jinx it with an inopportune comment – or *they don’t actually know* how the meeting went, and are even now scurrying around in search of scraps of information.
Okay, we’re now hearing that there may not *be* any actual announcement, as far as the maybe-already-ongoing second meeting, so ITQ is seriously considering heading home to wait it out from there. (We’d be back in a flash if word of a press conference went out, of course.)
An intriguing, if remote possibility: the Liberals could introduce a confidence motion on Friday, and then vote *for* the estimates but still bring down the government, presuming the other two opposition parties were willing to join in the game of parliamentary silly buggers. (I have no reason to think that’s even on the Liberal radar, for the record.)
Okay, you know what? I’m calling this — we’re not going to hear anything tonight — at least, not officially — and tomorrow, we’ll either have an awkward Liberal/Conservative group hug, or more uncertainty. The consensus seems to be the former, but you know, we keep veering back and forth like a bunch of weathervanes, so I’m going to leave it open-ended for the moment.
If I hear anything else, I’ll definitely post something new. Promise.