Gavel, gavel, who gets the gavel? – Liveblogging the Ethics committee

That’s right, it’s time for one of ITQ’s very favourite rituals: election of committee chairs — that time-honoured tradition that is currently underway in meeting rooms across the precinct, which means she has to be a wee bit selective in deciding which ones to cover.

So, why did Ethics make the cut? Well, because there’s a rumour afoot of a plot to oust the incumbent chair, Paul Szabo, which means that this morning’s get-together could involve more than the usual pro forma vote to re-elect. Oh, and what with the latest controversy over ministerial fundraising by certain Toronto crown corporations, it might be fun to find out what will be on the committee agenda this fall. Anyway, check back at 9am for full coverage.

Yay! Committees are back! This is totally more fun than having an election.
8:55:13 AM
Greetings, fans of seemingly routine business with the potential to careen wildly off the rails! In mere minutes, the (re)inaugural meeting of one of ITQ’s perennial favourite committees will get underway, which is why she’s staked out a front row seat in the Railway Room. Not that there was much competition, mind you — so few of her gallery colleagues appreciate the subtle intrigue of a good old-fashioned chair wrangling.

Up for the government today, we have most of the usual suspects from the last iteration of this particular committee: Bob Dechert, Pierre Poilievre, Greg Rickford and Patricia Davidson. On the other side of the table, Paul Szabo — who doesn’t get to take his usual seat until and unless reelected — as well as Borys W., and Sukh Dhaliwal; Carole Freeman and Luc Desnoyers on Team Bloc Quebecois, and Bill Siksay as the lone representative for the NDP.

It’s all smiles at the moment — lots of intracaucus fraternizing going on – although the aura around the Liberal contingent has a distinctly glummer hue.

Does anyone else remember Murder at Midnight — one of those characteristically grisly game that was a staple of the now-known-as-tween year sleepover? That’s how I imagine the Liberal caucus right now — suspicious and stuck in the dark.

9:06:16 AM
And we’re on — Bill Siksay nominates Paul Szabo, and — hey, that wasn’t controversial at all! They didn’t even propose an alternative! Anyway, Szabo is back in the chair after the least contentious vote ever. Any chance of excitement in the vice-chairs? Oh, ITQ hates it when she falls for rumours of excitement brewing.
9:08:49 AM
With the vice-chair elections out of the way — Patricia Davidson and Bill Siksay, in case anyone was dying of suspense on that front — Szabo takes the chair, and thanks his colleagues for their support. Apparently, the usual clerk is off sick today — aww, get will soon — so, after outlining the plan for the next steering committee, the meeting is adjourned for the day. Ooh, which means ITQ might just be able to make it to that Ignatieff scrum! Stay tuned!

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