Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cabinet Shuffle


Well, the long awaited shuffle has of course occurred....yawn.
I hadn't made any predictions, as I usually find the exercise futile, but I can say, that I wasn't really surprised. The one move that perhaps is a bit weird, but explicable, is Maxime Bernier to Foreign Affairs. The explanation of course is a voice in Quebec to explain Afghanistan. A shrewd move I suppose, but one I doubt will pay off. Bernier is tight with messaging, but inexperienced with the file. In the end, he'll be repeating the same message that the gov't has stuck to and that is what isn't working, not so much the messenger.
Ablonzy is in, but in a junior position, so not at the Cabinet table. The lack of women in cabinet is still very obvious, though I will say I'm glad that petulant Guergis was not promoted.
O'Connor gone, big surprise! Not. Putting MacKay there is again a communications thing. Though this one is a bit interesting. It could prove to be a poison pill for MacKay. He cannot stray off script, which he's been known to do and that has national consequences. How it will affect him in his riding, I think, will either be positive or neutral.
Losing Prentice from Aboriginal Affairs may generate some reaction. He was respected in that role and I'm sure aboriginal groups are tired of their Minister's constantly changing. Strahl was generally respected, until the Wheat Board fiasco. Flouting legal decisions, does nothing for credibility.
Oda to CIDA, is a mistake I think. I haven't wrapped my head around all of it, but on the surface, she'll still be called on in QP and she under preforms. Verner to Heritage, interesting, but I can't figure her out. If she is a typical Quebecer, and I mean that in a good way, this may be a good move. I have no idea however, if she embraces the importance that Quebecers place on culture, over the culture her boss promotes.
All in all, the shuffle was about sending the same message, through different voices. Voices that are hopefully, for the government, more articulate and convincing. Will it work? I doubt it. It's not the people, it's the message, imo, that people are not buying. Harper has been unable to move his numbers and one of his big hurdles is women. I see nothing here that will sway them. Another is Ontario....what did he do there? Attention to Quebec? That's just going to tick the rest of the country off and it's too obvious.
So, all in all, yawn. The Opposition critic's have time to get their ducks in a row, knowing who they will face. They will of course hit the new Minister's weakest spot's and Parliament should prove interesting.
A last thought. Harper suggested that it was time that O'Connor expanded his breadth of knowledge. 40 years in Defense, he's what, 67 years old? Yeah, now is the time to learn. Laughable and lame.

13 comments:

Red Canuck said...

Yawn is right. Most of this is about optics and nothing else. Policy isn't going to change one bit. Harper just wanted to insert new people into portfolios that he felt were being inadequately 'marketed'.

Kady O'Malley made an interesting comment on the National that the McKay/Bernier moves are predicated on the (dubious) assumption that flagging public opinion about the Afghan mission was largely due to poor communication rather than substantive doubts about the mission itself.

And yes, although there are now fewer women in cabinet, we should be profoundly grateful that Helena Guergis wasn't promoted.

Anonymous said...

In other news another Liberal is caught stealing!
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070814.wlavigne0814/BNStory/National/home

Anonymous said...

Oh gee, Miss Mock Outrage (Guergis) didn't get promoted - hmm...would be the scandal and nepotism (her family) happening in her riding or her man (Jaffer) didn't get a promotion therefore, a woman shouldn't get one ahead of him considering they are involved?

Ablonczy - is she loyal to Canada? I wonder. She was an active member of the Western Canada Concepts group who want to separate Man/Sask/Alta/BC/NWT from Canada to preserve European and Christian culture (this was prior to becoming a reformer). She may be smart, but I'm not comfortable with her.

Couldn't Harper have let/made O'Connor resign to save face instead of being all over the news with a demotion? Oh, Harper can't take responsibility and makes sure someone else is the fall guy.

The whole hype was a total YAWNER -nothing changed.

This "anonymous" with Liberal caught stealing is going into every blog with this crap - a CPC troll/party member? Hey, anon, this is totally old news.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (7:22am) Is it just typical anon!! Imagine if it were a Conservative who got caught stealing my oh my it would have been the end of the world with
the left.Now just because its one of their own (LIBERAL) the second time this summer i may add.
All of this is happening
while the adscam is still in the news here in Quebec. Anyone surprised?

John

Anonymous said...

Perhaps John should pay more attention - adscam is not news anymore. The senator thing is truly OLD news and was kicked out by Liberals over a year ago.

Guergis is in the middle of a scandal and you are concerned?

Chuck Strahl, and old Reformer in Indian Affairs? The Reformers are against the natives - shows how much importance Harper is placing on this file.

Has Jose Venier sorted out her legal problems yet?

Why isn't unelected senator Fortier running in the upcoming by-elections in Quebec - copping out again?

Bernier - only 2 years in politics and NO experience whatsover with respect to foreign affairs? Huh?

Amounts to vote-buying in Quebec, again. Hmmm....I guess we don't matter.

Anonymous said...

I find it rich that you would have been critical if Helena Guergis made cabinet but at the same time criticize Harper for not having enough women.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (8:58 a.m.)

"Perhaps John should pay more attention - adscam is not news anymore. The senator thing is truly OLD news and was kicked out by Liberals over a year ago."

Your not from Quebec
I assume its in the news every second day just read THIS!
Get your facts straight!!

"Guergis is in the middle of a scandal and you are concerned?" What are you talking about?

"Has Jose Venier sorted out her legal problems yet?" Sorry
but i don't know what
you are talking about!
I don't see the RCMP
KNOCKING on Josée Verner
door to arrest her,are
you seeing it? Is it anywhere in the news?

"Why isn't unelected senator Fortier running in the upcoming by-elections in Quebec - copping out again?"
Get your fact straight he has always said that he would run in a general election not a by-election is it clear enough for you ?

"Bernier - only 2 years in politics and NO experience whatsover with respect to foreign affairs? Huh?" Dion wants
to be PM of our country
how many years of experience does he have has PM? Michael Ignatieff
who also wanted to be come PM of our country
how much experience does he have? Denis Coderre who is defense critic
how much experience does
he have in that capacity?
I can go on but it would be to long.KNB please don't tell me that you agree with anon do you?

"Amounts to vote-buying in Quebec, again. Hmmm....I guess we don't matter." What do you think Layton is doing
when he says bring the troops home now? Its not vote buying? Dion going around the country he is not trying to buy votes?
Please be serious next time o.k.

John

burlivespipe said...

This shuffle amounts to Edgar Bergen switching the heads on Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd. Shock! None were allowed to speak to the media afterward (wouldn't want them to say the obviously shameful "I'm new to this post but there are some challenges that I'm looking forward to...blah" quote) and Harpor managed to slyly point out that the depth of talent and trustworthiness in his caucus is thinner than his top lip.
Over to you, Joh-troll-nny...

Anonymous said...

KNB how can you tolerate people like burlivespipe?
I know you are going to tell me that he has a right to post just like i do,but there has to be a fine line some where. Just because i disagree
with his politics doesn't
give him the right to say what he/she has said. The more you stay quiet these people will think its fine its acceptable with you. Its your blog!! Just
look at this person post
of 2:29 pm and you tell me that I'm wrong!!

John

knb said...

John, I don't draw a line. I believe in free speech, yours and mine and his.

I happen to like burl's posts. I especially like his name...it's comfy to me and that should tell you how old I am.

John, unlike the right, unless it get's out of hand, I will not ban anyone.

If you have a comment to Burl, make it. Really, you don't need me, that I can promise you.

If you have a blog that people read, you must allow all opinions, in my view. It's about debate and I'd prefer it to be civil.

In the end John, you cannot take this stuff personally. If I did, I'd never blog again.

Anonymous said...

KNB (9:24) POST:

"John, unlike the right, unless it get's out of hand, I will not ban anyone." I'm not asking you to ban him at least a warning that's all.

"In the end John, you cannot take this stuff personally. If I did, I'd never blog again."This is going over the line when someone calls you a troll.I also said not to take things personally.I meant politically not calling people names unprovoked like troll
as an example.

"John, I don't draw a line. I believe in free speech, yours and mine and his." I believe in
free speech also,but you know even in our country
people get into trouble by going over the line in the name of free speech. There has to be a line drawn. Now i know that you won't mind if i call burlivespipe a great PIECE OF SHIT because you see its free speech you said it not me.
I know you won't say anything when i call burlivespipe DICKLESS,because you see
KNB this is the standard of your blog,because you said it not me you see this is free speech right KNB? I could go on for ever. Is this what you call civil hey KNB ?
I surly don't! If this is
acceptable to you fine no problem. I don't know if you have any children,but
if you have I'm just curious. If they would call you a troll just because they don't agree with you would you bring up the free speech,speech
just would like to know
even though I'm sure you will not answer me? You can't have it both ways
KNB remember that!

John

Scotian said...

KNB:

See what I mean about the preaching about ethics I was talking about where a certain type of commentator is concerned on others blogs? This is akin to being the morality police, and what is really offensive about it is the assumption that it is their place to make such judgments, especially when they do so while claiming it is inappropriate for others to be so judgmental and/or harsh in their views. Such folks will not respect intellectual honesty because it is too brutal for them, their delicate sensibilities become offended and then they act like you are some sort of filth and/or hypocrite if you do not share their particular pov on the matter. As you said, one cannot take things personally in the blogosphere, otherwise one is an easy target for those unfortunate personalities (of any political flavour, this is a human trait we are talking about) who like getting rises out of people.

Allowing people to exchange opinions so long as they are not violating the laws of the land seems a fine standard to use in an open society like our own, and that way it is not the place of one person to tell another what is "appropriate" and what is not but the laws we commonly agree to. Amazingly straightforward concept and one you practice quite nicely in my observation. You certainly do not run any sort of site that panders to or even attracts those of a hateful/vengeful nature (outside of the category that disagrees strongly with you, but that is alas inevitable in any political writing/blogging IMHO) as you know, which is quite possibly why you tend to attract a decent level of commentator aside from the inevitable anonymice Trolletariat and the odd John type.

Good for you for having an open speech policy here in what is your personal space online, you are after all under no obligation to provide any such thing, as such restriction is not uncommon among many of the conservative bloggers of Canada. Sorry for sticking my nose into this bit, but quite frankly I find the moralizing self appointed guardians of internet/speech morality like John here more than a little offensive as well as tedious. Not to mention projectionists of the first order.

Anonymous said...

KNB i assume that Scotian
doesn't mind being called
a TROLL just because we disagree on politics right?
This is what we call free
speech Scotian KNB said it not me.

John