Oliphant Inquiry: Would it be totally wrong to start a countdown?

Because ITQ has to admit that she is having considerable difficulty reining in her anticipatory glee at the promise of the long awaited new season of the Schreiber Show, which is scheduled to get underway bright and early tomorrow morning. Just 23 hours (give or take a few minutes) to go until we find out  all about the “new and significant” documents that he claims to have submitted to the committee.

Which, knowing Schreiber, could turn out to be the smoking telex that blasts the whole case wide open, or a map of Manitoba’s highways that has been stowed away in his glove compartment since 1989. That’s what makes it all so exciting: nobody really has any idea what to expect. Okay, that and that whole caucus meltdown thing, of course.

Oh, and as for that reported rift in the lute — which, to quote Saki, at times seemed to be to in danger of widening to an abyss, all generally accepted laws of physics to the contrary  —  the story seems to have died down somewhat over the weekend — which isn’t really all that surprising, given that it was a holiday, and shouldn’t be taken by PMO as much welcomed evidence that they’ve successfully managed to ride this one out — but may well be revived by this week’s testimony, particularly if it puts Team Mulroney on the offensive. Despite talking points that profess the whole sordid debacle to be of little public interest outside the Hill political gossip circuit, ITQ predicts that Schreiber’s testimony — and, even more crucially, the coverage that ensues — will be must-surreptitiously-see TV for the PM’s communications team.

It may (or may not) be true that “ordinary Canadians” have far more substantive matters on their collective mind about than post-prime ministerial business relationships from a decade ago, but the small but steady trickle of caucus leaks – even if relatively restrained when compared with the weekly deluge that plagued the Liberals in past – should definitely worry Stephen Harper, if only because of the conspicuous absence in subsequent stories of quotes from similarly unnamed caucus sources that are fully behind the government’s ostensibly official position on Mulroney. Other than cabinet ministers, and the odd Senior PMO Official, it’s been eerily silent on that front, despite the fact that the former Reform/Alliance wing of the party has far more sizeable representation in caucus than the former PCs.

So far, nobody is using the l-word to describe those Conservative backbenchers who have been unwavering in their support for the current prime minister, but if the toothpaste keeps squirting out of the tube, all bets are off, not to mention the fact that a clampdown can very often have the exact opposite effect. Which means that even as Schreiber is regaling the world with an updated version of his now familiar tales of corruption, cronyism and conspiracy theory at Old City Hall, the real story — at least as far as the present day political controversphere is concerned — may be unfolding behind the closed doors of Langevin Block: In camera — until it suddenly isn’t.

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