Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Coyne: He started it is no defence.

Andrew Coyne is one of the country's best columnists. In his column about the Grewal affair (linked via the header), however, he has misconstrued (1) the encounter & the nature of the discussion and (2) has consequently misjudged the eight minutes that we have.

Our eight minutes are about abstaining in the non-confidence vote, which Murphy probably assumes that Grewal wants to do. Why? Because he assumes that Grewal is genuinely interested in becoming a Liberal and, given that, does not want the government to fall.

What were the other three-and-a-half hours about? They were discussions about Grewal's actual change of parties--not abstaining in a non-confidence vote. Did Gruel ask for something to cross-the-floor? Maybe, maybe not. Apparently, however, whatever he asked for was not granted. (If it was, the discussion would have ended.)

My take? By his own admission, Grewal was pretending to be interested in crossing the floor. Murphy took him at his word. His suggestion that Grewal might abstain in the non-confidence vote was meant as a way to prolong a discussion that Grewal had either initiated or had been a willing partner in.


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