Monday, February 06, 2006

Conservative Cabinet Comments

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Emerson who?
Emerson nice cabinet picks.

It's now official and we can say Prime Minister Stephen Harper -- the guy whose leadership campaign I was on back in December 2001.

Andrew Coyne has a quick rundown on the new cabinet. My comments...

Two things that bug me, but are understandable to a degree in this minority situation as the standings are now:

CPC -- 125
Lib -- 102
Bloc -- 51
NDP -- 29
Ind -- 1

Which means the NDP now have that balance of power. 125 + 29 = 154 = 50% of the House. Even if you add up the Libs + Bloc + Ind. = 154, BUT the House is likely to choose Peter Milliken as Speaker again, so drop the Libs to 101. THEN if the votes in Northern Saskatchewan get overturned, Libs drop to 100 and CPC up to 126, but we'll have to wait on that.

Anyway...cabinet ...

1) David Emerson crosses the floor from the Liberals and gets a cabinet position! Poof, just like that! If anyone says there wasn't a backroom deal, they can ask Belinda Stronach out on a date. I don't like this. He just got elected as a Liberal.

2) Michael Fortier, although not elected, gets appointed to the Senate and lands a cabinet post.

Okay, three things...

3) Diane Ablonczy and Jay Hill didn't get posts. Both are true old school Reform and, like Deb Grey, I have always admired their tenacity and fortitude. She's been there from the beginning, so when turncoat Emerson gets tapped and a non-elected Senator gets a spot, this is all starting to fly in the face of good Reformers. Jay Hill was an excellent Opposition House Leader.

I say this is all understandable, as Harper had many parameters to deal with in his cabinet formula and in this minority situation. Not having a Deputy PM? What the heck does a Deputy PM do anyway? So, good call, I guess. Perhaps having Diane would make too many Calgary cabmins.

And wow, this cabinet is much smaller. We'll see if they can all handle the work load. My guess is it shouldn't be a problem. I'm wondering if Harper left out some of people for now, while the current team learns and makes mistakes, the next shuffle will see the likes of Diane and Jay.

Rona Ambrose for Environment! She sure has a lot of work to do and will face a lot of lobbying, but she's very smart and down-to-earth. With her being one of the shortest MPs, we'll see how close to the earth she really is! (I know, that was brutal eh?)

No comments: