Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tory Cabinet Spec

Obviously, I don’t know the inner working of Stephen Harper’s mind (only the scientist who programmed him truly does), or of the Conservative Party of Canada for that matter. But, like analyzing daily poll results and Liberal leadership speculation, I think all bloggers are required to engage in a little bit of wild Cabinet speculation. So, after contacting my Conservative sources (ie. The comments section at Coyne’s site), here’s my predictions for the first Harper Cabinet.

Deputy Prime Minister: Monsieur Cannon
Finance: Flaherty
Justice: MacKay
Foreign Affairs: Monte
Industry: James Moore
Health: Tony Clement (pending recount)
Social Development: Ambrose
Defense: O'Connor
Intergovernmental Affairs: Verner
Immigration: Lynne Yelich
House Leader: Jay Hill
Heritage: Bev Oda
Transport: Stockwell Day
Fisheries: Hearn
Agriculture: Finley
Aboriginal Affairs: Prentice
Veterans Affairs: Greg Thompson
Treasury Board: John Baird

I think Cannon, Flaherty, MacKay and Solberg in those above positions are fairly common consensus picks (so they’re likely wrong). I’m also going to assume Lawrence Cannon gets another portfolio to go along with Deputy PM, but I’m not sure where Harper will want to use him. James Moore is a rising star, so I suspect he’ll get something bigger than Transport. After seeing Lapierre in Transport, I just felt Stockwell Day would be the perfect follow up act. With the fiscal imbalance as his big issue, Harper should likely take a Quebec Minister for intergovernmental affairs, so even though Rona is the name most often mentioned for that post, I’ll give it to Josee Verner. For a lot of the other spots, I tried to match the Cabmins with their critic portfolios, since this will cut down on the learning curve.

At this point, I realized how futile it is to match people up to potential portfolios (and do we really care what poor soul gets saddled with veterans affairs?), and I’m not sure how many Cabinet positions Harper will have. He likely will trim it down (not needing three Ministers of Democratic Reform), so I’m just going to pick 25 names total. Feel free to add a few secretary of states in there for kicks.

Blackburn and Bernier are locks from Quebec. Every site I’ve seen has those two, plus Verner and Cannon in Cabinet. It wouldn’t at all surprise me to see Harper pick a fifth Quebec Cabmin, but I’m not sure who that would be.

Peter Van Loan and Helena Guergis from Ontario will get probably something. That will give him a strong seven Cabinet Ministers from Ontario. Garth Murray is also a possibility, but I don’t think he cracks the top 25.

Fletcher and Toews likely get in, and one should likely get a descent portfolio. I think Clement is too obvious a choice for Health for Fletcher to stay there and as for Vic Toews…he’s likely not the best Justice Minister available, to put it mildly.

And I’m also going to assume Chuck Strahl gets in somewhere, because he’s a swell guy. Originally, I would have had him pegged for speaker, but I suspect Miliken will get the job again.

So those are my predictions. Harper needs to trim the Alberta voices in his Cabinet, so Rajotte, Kenney, Ablonczy and others get the shaft. Unfortunately, so do Myron Thompson and Rob Anders.


  • Nicholson will more-than-likely get a small cabseat somewhere. Ontario guy, close to the border,sat a couple days in Mulroney/Campbell's gov't, Party Whip, went to pope's funeral, blah, blah, blah. Beautiful for my riding if he didn't get a sniff though. Makes it easier to fight the next election against a backbencher.

    The What Do I Know Grit.

    By Blogger James Curran, at 11:49 p.m.  

  • If Flaherty gets finance, does that make him the senior political minister for Ontario? I'm not sure how well that would go over with the Common Sense Revolution baggage.

    Ditto for Clements on Health. How soon before the Liberals bring up SARS?

    By Blogger Simon Pole, at 12:08 a.m.  

  • I'd argue that Carol Skelton will get a cabinet post rather than Lynne Yelich. She was deputy leader of the Alliance under Harper.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:13 a.m.  

  • Why is it always that the perceived obvious choice for Intergovernmental Affairs is a Quebecer? Don't get me wrong, we've probably been well served by the ones we've had to date. And if the best person for the job hails from Quebec, then so be it.

    But if I were Stephen Harper I'd be most worried about dealing with Klein, Williams, Lord and possibly McGuinty. Charest is in no position to give Harper any real grief for the foreseeable future. If Boisclair becomes Premier, then that certainly changes.

    Given the amount of fed/prov stuff he seems to want to address, I hope for his sake he puts someone in there with experience, or at least with a rudimentary knowledge of the strains felt by the "other" disaffected provinces in the federation (i.e. all of them).

    Otherwise he's putting a match to a powder keg.

    By Blogger Mark, at 1:01 a.m.  

  • As well, those who don't get full-cabinet minister positions may get secretary of state or parliamentary secretary positions.

    By Blogger daveberta, at 1:42 a.m.  

  • I'll second Ablonczy. Not a chance that she'll be looking in.

    Bernier will show up in a fiscal imbalance related post. Not sure how big 1st time around, but very sr. 2nd time.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 a.m.  

  • Who cares? They are only a caretaker cabinet anyways.

    A placeholder until the next Liberal Majority.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:03 a.m.  

  • Your guesses are probably right CG. Sadly so. The idea of Clement in charge of Health makes my skin crawl and Flaherty in charge of Finance keeps me up at night. I survived them in Ontario, barely, and we are still paying for their ideas of government.

    Hoefully a minority can keep them in check.

    By Blogger Mike, at 9:35 a.m.  

  • FYI: as of Sunday, Clement's lead was up to 29 votes (source: my weekly call to my mother, who voted in the riding, and got this from the radio up there).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:44 a.m.  

  • I don't think Flaherty will get finance. An Albertan's a much better choice for that. I think Harper will save Flaherty for something even better, like chasing down those stolen taxpayer dollars, or re-building accountability. After all, if he can turn Ontario's fortunes around after the NDP bankrupt us, I see Jim and Monte being an working as an excellent team in that way. They'll be give portfolios that work closely together.

    I'd like to see Fletcher as Health Minister, and I do believe we'll see more women as Ministers from Harper to combat that anti-woman fear-mongering BS.

    Whatever the choices, it will be refreshing indeed to see new faces replacing the old entitled ones.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 a.m.  

  • My observations:
    • Rob Nicholson will get a far more senior cabinet post than you have him slated for, Mr. Grit.
    • Stock Day will get a cabinet post, but nothing that involves foreign affairs or trade or anything with social issues involved. So Transport or Revenue or Veteran Affairs are likely bets.
    • Solberg gets Finance, not Flaherty. Flaherty has experience but also a liability — he was the finance minister of a govt that supposedly had balanced budgets only to find out that Ontario was in big deficit.
    • O'Connor does not get defence due to his past as a lobbyist for defence industry. Opposition will have field day with this. As a result, MacKay gets defence. Also, not sure O'Connor gets into cabinet, as they will already have one Ottawa-area minister in Baird, who is a shoo-in.
    • Flaherty most likely gets Justice or Public Security portfolio. Remember, he was attorney general in Ontario.
    • Jason Kenny gets house leader.
    • I thnk James Moore is on the bubble in terms of getting into cabinet, as is James Rajotte.
    • Michael Chong, the bright young MP from Halton-Wellington, gets into cabinet.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 a.m.  

  • "Who cares? They are only a caretaker cabinet anyways. A placeholder until the next Liberal Majority."

    Please never let go of that attitude.

    Doug Fischer, Saturday:

    Speaking as leader for the first time in Parliament, [Pearson] invited Mr. Diefenbaker to resign and hand power back to the Liberals, where it belonged.

    Mr. Diefenbaker couldn't have been
    more pleased. He immediately called an election and campaigning even harder on the theme of Liberal arrogance, he won a stunning 208 seats.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:01 a.m.  

  • Rod Bruinoge who knocked out Alcock in Winnipeg South is going to get a good parlimentry secretary spot.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:43 a.m.  

  • You left out the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, a pretty big portfolio.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:45 a.m.  

  • For Stockwell Day it is not Minister of Transport...

    It's Minister of Personal Watercrafts and Wetsuits!

    Short form: MIN JETSKISUITS!


    By Blogger A.L., at 12:15 p.m.  

  • "Ditto for Clements on Health. How soon before the Liberals bring up SARS?

    By Simon Pole, at 10:08 PM "

    I didnt know that Tony Clement caused SARS. Great piece of insight.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:56 p.m.  

  • I just think Harper needs to limit the Alberta precense.

    Solberg is the best guy for finance but having both the PM and Finance Minister from the same province might not go over well in Quebec or Ontario.

    Ablonczy, Kenney, Rajotte and Prentice are in the same numbers game. I'm sure Harper would love to have them in Cabinet, but can he have more Cabmins from Alberta than Quebec or Ontario? Or BC? Especially if they all get high profile positions? I dunno.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 1:04 p.m.  

  • CG/BR, no matter what you're smokin these days, I can't believe you'd leave Ms. Ablonczy in the outer circle.

    She's media savvy, smarter and more focussed than Anne McLellan or any of the Chretien or Martin era gLib women cabmins were AND she set l'il Stevie and Laureen up on their first date.

    P.S. She also gave the best off-the-cuff election night description of the results:

    " the electorate are giving us a test drive..."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:16 p.m.  

  • It's Garth Turner not Garth Murray. Small correction you may wish to make.

    Plus, I'd be surprised if Rob Nicholson did not get a position given he was a Cabinet Minister under Mulroney.

    By Blogger Bailey, at 2:21 p.m.  

  • Let's hope Jeremy Harrison gets Democratic Renewal.

    By Blogger metasyntactic variable, at 2:56 p.m.  

  • As was pointed out on another blog (sorry, I forget which one), why is it not okay to have Finance & PM from the same province? It wasn't an issue with Chretien and Martin, after all.

    Just curious.

    By Blogger Candace, at 3:00 p.m.  

  • Here are my predicitions. Blackburn was an obviously choice because of his 9 years in caucus but he has since been removed from the running because of comments in the Ottawa Citizen last week where he said he was sympathetic to sovereignty and almost crossed to form the Bloc with Bouchard in 1990.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:07 p.m.  

  • If Helena Guergis gets anything, I am moving out of Simcoe-Grey.

    Some say the woman is dumb as a stump. Me? I'm not willing to be that insulting to stumps.

    She has no post-secondary education and has actually commented that the only experience needed for elected office is the experience of being a beauty queen (this was actually recorded in newsprint).

    If this woman becomes a Minister of the Crown, shame on the Conservative government. There are much brighter bulbs than this 2-watter.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:10 p.m.  

  • Treasury Board might be a good fit for Baird, since he's close to Harper and a proven Cabinet Minister. But it might be too close to his backyard (as the new MP for thousands of civil servants). Maybe he'd end up somewhere like Public Safety & Security...he'll get something senior though, and he's very deserving.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:36 p.m.  

  • I'm sorry to have to point this out, and this will sound a bit rude from me, but since nobody here speaks French, I'll have to sacrifice myself to enlighten you...

    You may not have noticed that although Josée Verner has a nice tan, her sheer lack of substance will eventually bring pundits back to reality in their assessment of the so-called "star-candidate".

    Maxime Bernier is much more likely to end up with an important portfolio than Madame Verner, whose political astuteness does not quite match her éclatant bronzage.

    Just don't get too excited about her, OK? Thank you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:04 p.m.  

  • JAMES MOORE in Industry? NO way! He has no private sector experience. It is insane to entrust our economy with someone so inexperienced.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:29 a.m.  

  • I demand Myron Thompson and Rob Anders and Garry Breitkreuz and Maurice Vellacott all be added to cabinet!

    Seriously, if Lynne Yelich is added to cabinet, she would be an excellent choice.

    By Blogger John Murney , at 2:11 p.m.  

  • Maybe Myron thopson should spend ore of his time on politics and less on the VLT's in the Sundre Hotel

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:42 p.m.  

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