Buckets' opinion: an overview of the negotiations
Here is, I think, how the negotiations went in outline, cutting out the courtship rituals. What I place in square brackets I regard as [reasonable supposition], double square [[less certain speculation]]; what I leave unbracketed I regard as demonstrated to a reasonable level of certainty by entries in this blog.
1. Kalia tapes. Grewal approached the Liberals through an intermediary (Sadesh Kalia), whose role was to bring Dosanjh and Grewal together. [Before the negotiations proceeded to the next stage, the Liberals will have committed themselves to unchallenged Liberal nominations for both Gurmant and Nina.]
2. Pizza date. Grewal and Dosanjh met for the pizza date. [Grewal laid out his price--a seat in cabinet immediately and a senate post for Nina [[if she lost the next election]]. Dosanjh argued that a seat in cabinet immediately was impossible; he advised Grewal against asking for the senate seat.]
3. Stronach defection hits the news.
4. GG-UD-MM meet. Grewal insists that Belinda's example proves that some of what he'd asked for [[a cabinet post immediately]] is possible; Dosanjh suggests that the most Grewal can expect is a position as parliamentary secretary after a decent interval]. Murphy arrives. Grewal asks for a senate seat for Nina and fishes for a cabinet post for himself. Murphy explains that a senate seat is impossible and does not offer a cabinet post. Grewal asks that an apology with Volpe be arranged to 'open the door' for further negotiations. The meeting ends.
5. Grewal and Murphy meet. Murphy suggests that Grewal can keep 'the door open' to further negotiations by abstaining in the coming non-confidence vote. In return, a public apology from Volpe will be arranged. Grewal knows that he cannot do this and still remain a Conservative. If he did this he would be expelling himself from the Conservative Party without suitable recompense. He therefore declines. In essense, he is offered an apology for an abstention. This is not enough.