January 22, 2006


Here's what Tory cabinet could be: In his first nightmare duty as PM, Harper would have a mind-boggling array of choices to make (GREG WESTON, 1/22/06, TORONTO SUN)

As always, Harper will be faced with a dizzying matrix of considerations in making his cabinet picks -- geography, gender, ethnicity, experience, political IOUs, electoral strategies and last but sometimes least, the ability to head a multibillion-dollar ministry with thousands of employees and 34 million shareholders watching every move.

In Harper's case, there is another key factor that will come into play -- namely, whether the Conservatives win a majority or a minority.

If it is a minority, Harper may try to minimize the learning curve for his new ministry by moving some existing opposition critics into their corresponding portfolios in government.

If the Conservatives get a majority and the luxury of up to five years in office, experience in government and familiarity with the issues of a specific portfolio would not be essential job qualifications for cabinet.

That said, whatever the size of a Conservative win Monday night, Harper's biggest cabinet-building headache will be deciding whom to leave out.

Most of Harper's friends and loyalists are Alberta MPs, as are a disproportionately large number of other highly capable members of party -- in fact, too many for all of them to be included in a regionally balanced cabinet.

Calgary MP Lee Richardson and Kevin Sorenson from Crowfoot, for instance, should both be in the cabinet, but may well get squeezed out in the Alberta overload.

Over the past week, we asked various Conservative insiders who they think would occupy the front bench of a Conservative government. The picture that emerges is a cabinet full of talent, intelligence, experience and, surprisingly, youth.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2006 10:24 AM

I hope Harper doesn't make the same mistake that Bush did leaving liberal leftovers in key positions in the AG's office, state, defense, etc.

Kick them all out and start fresh with people loyal to him and avoid a fifth column leaking to the media.

Posted by: erp at January 22, 2006 1:08 PM

Hey, it doesn't matter after Monday, according to Michael Moore -- Canada's simply going to become another conqest of George W. Bush, so anyone Harper puts in will have about the same effect as the folks Marshal Petain had around him in the Vichy government (this probably also means no chance of Michael doing "Canadian Bacon II" until the occupation ends around 2011 or so).

Posted by: John at January 22, 2006 2:22 PM

For the second straight election, Moore has broken Canadian statutes by involving himself in Politics. He is not a citizen, of course, and therefore may not voive his opinions in Canada.

The Liberals of course have not laid any charges. Personally, I wish a renegade Armed Forces member WOULD lay charges. That explosion would be a sight to behold!

Posted by: obc at January 22, 2006 7:49 PM

" That explosion would be a sight to behold!"

To get an idea of what it might be like, find a copy of the news video that shows time that the Oregon DOT tried to remove a whale carcass off a beach with half a ton of dynamite. (Wait for the plopping sounds....)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 22, 2006 8:42 PM