Inside Politics

UPDATED AND CONFIRMED: ProrogueWatch - Yup, today IS the day

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is shown outside Ottawa's Rideau Hall on Dec. 4, 2008, after Gov. Gen Michaƫlle Jean approved his recommendation to prorogue Parliament. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

For the first, distinctly more sceptical, installment of  ProrogueWatch, click here. Otherwise, refresh this post for updates - and I'm now more convinced that there will be updates, possibly within the next hour. 

Since as far as we know, there's no requirement for the PM to actually meet with the Governor General to pull the trigger, there are no tells -- like, say, a convoy of Town Cars heading from 24 Sussex Drive to Rideau Hall -- which means we'll probably find out via press release. That is, if it's happening today, and not tomorrow, or next week, or ... anyway, you get the idea. 

UPDATE: Okay, it sounds like it's on -- according to Global News anchor Kevin Newman, there's a PMO briefing scheduled for 11ish. Whee! 

PREEMPTIVE REACTION UPDATE: Wow, Former Colleague Coyne seems distinctly unimpressed with the putative prorogation plot. 

You know, I'm really looking forward to hearing the Conservative reasoning for why the PM has to prorogue today, instead of waiting until closer to the date of the scheduled return. I have to admit that I'm stumped. (Note: Yes, I know what the opposition parties will say -- that he's trying to shut down the Afghanistan committee to kill the detainee story once and for all. I'm talking about what those Senior Government Officials will say in response.) 

YOU WRITE THE TALKING POINTS CHALLENGE: Okay, I've tried, and failed, to come up with a convincing argument in favour of early prorogation for a post-Olympic Speech from the Throne, so I'm handing it over to y'all in the comments. If you were in charge of drafting the PMO info-alerte that will be beamed out to Conservative MPs and supporters once the announcement has been made, which bullet points would you include? Oh, and no, you can't simply yammer on about resetting the Senate committees, since that happens automatically when Parliament is recalled, and is not dependent on hitting the reboot button now, as opposed to doing so the day before the House is scheduled to come back. 

ACTUAL NEWS UPDATE: Okay, apparently the PMO briefing is now scheduled for 12:40. I'll let you know what transpires just as soon as I find out myself. 

CONFIRMED: It's on, you guys! Or, more accurately, it's off -- no parliament until after the Olympics, with a Throne Speech on March 3 and a budget the very next day. 

SO, WHAT HAPPENS NOW? Well, the Governor General still has to sign the proclamation, although that shouldn't take long - unless, of course, she decides she requires further convincing on the subject, which I don't see happening -- at which point Parliament stands prorogued for the next two months. 

SO ARE WE, OR AREN'T WE, PROROGUED? According to Macleans bureau chief John Geddes, PMO - or, more accurately, Dimitri Soudas - won't say. (Scroll down to the comments for bonus Coyne snark.) 

BRING ON THE DANCING TALKING POINTS: Courtesy of PMO's ever-helpful Alerte-Info-Alert, the official explanation for today's announcement. 
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