Seriously, y’all, at this point, ITQ doesn’t even know who is responding to whom — or what — and she’s starting to feel rather like Alice and the caucus-race. (She hopes that none of the creatures are expecting prizes, because her pockets are empty.)
That’s not going to stop her from liveblogging her puzzled little heart out, of course, so check back at 2pm for the next media availability of the day.
Hey, remember when we all griping and grumbling about how there was nothing going on, and what were we supposed to write about, and oh, the pain, the *pain of it all*? Yeah, turns out we really should’ve been catching up on our sleep and building up our immune system in advance of the most influenza-ridden fall election campaign ever!
Oh, I love a timely politician, and here one is — and he doesn’t even seem to have an opening statement. Even better!
First question — what does he think of Layton’s comments earlier? Not much, as it turns out — he’d rather talk about how this is, in his view, the opposition returning to its natural role of *opposing the government*. Why, that’s just crazy enough to work! Anyway, as far as Rae can see, it’s up to the prime minister to figure out how – or if – he can cobble together some sort of agreement with another party, but the Liberals aren’t in that business any longer.
Hmmm. Sounds like this might be a very, very short sitting — if the government is serious about introducing that Ways and Means motion on the very first day. Sorry about that Obama trip, PMO. I’m sure he’ll invite you in future.
A quickie on the Bernier documents — yes, there’s a new Bernier story! — and a predictable response, and then a swine flu query. Will he eschew the babykissing? “I’ll kiss anyone,” says the least lotharioesque politician in the history of Canadian democracy. You’ve been warned, voters.
David Akin wonders about the dread spectre of the coalition that hangeth over us all, and asks what plans – if any – the Liberals have vis a vis working with other parties in this, and any future parliaments, and Rae reminds him that he’s not the leader – or the decider – but then tears into the prime minister for his “brash” and baseless speculation on that, and various other issues.
Rae then waves away a question on Peter MacKay’s forgetfulness — he takes ministers at their word, and this is in the hands of the ethics commissioner — and predicts that it is going to be a “tough fall”, although as far as ITQ can see — and she’s very, very much too close to the spotlight at the moment — he seems to be entirely sanguine.
Joan Bryden asks about the W&M motion — does Rae think the government is going to try to force the Liberal hand on confidence? Well, he doesn’t know – but what he *does* know is that this is a “non sequiter” — it doesn’t even *require* a WMM to reduce taxes, he has been “reliably informed”. Huh. Is that true? Because if so, I don’t see how the Conservatives can keep pushing that line, since it would be *the government* that was threatening the rebate, not the opposition. Really, is anyone else starting to get same *major* flashbacks to the EFU? Because this is starting to feel like exactly the same too-cute-by-halfness, although you’d think that PMO would have learned that lesson, if any.
Interesting: As far as Rae is concerned, there’s nothing stopping the prime minister from heading off to DC to meet with Obama, regardless of whether there’s an election imminent — or even ongoing. He then tangents off into a sort of overarching gripe about the Conservative strategy of creating this facade of utter instability, when Canada is not – or so he claims – a “banana republic”. We have elections. Life goes on. “Mr. Harper is not generalissimo yet,” he jokes — he’s got to get used to living within the rules of a constitutional democracy.
One last question on the Buy America negotiations that Stockwell Day is just about to launch, and the answer runs along the same lines as the one he gave to the Obama question: Governing continues, even during a campaign, and if Day has meetings planned, he can just keep to his schedule, regardless of what writs may drop.
That’s it for Rae — and for ITQ for the moment. Hope y’all enjoyed!