Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Hard Curve

The NDP has their mid-term report card out for Harper's Cabinet, with Lawrence Cannon and Tony Clement leading the way...at C-. I had a teacher who gave out marks like this once - everyone hated him.

I'll save my report card for the one year mark but it is difficult to pick out Ministers who have excelled in their roles. If I had to pick a top performer so far, I'd probably have to go with Flaherty.

29 Comments:

  • I heard of a Math prof who gave Ds and Fs to 2/3 of the class.

    I would probably give most of them C- and Cs, although some like Rona Ambrose clearly do deserve an F. My pick for the best cabinet minister though would be Jim Prentice since even though I disagree with some of the Indian Affairs policies, it seems those have all been ones' Harper has made not Prentice. Maxime Bernier also seems to have done a decent job.

    Rona Ambrose has been the worst of them all. The only good thing I can say about her is she is good looking, but that won't cause me to move her up a notch.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 1:36 AM  

  • I think the Tories are suffering from a lack of top people running for their party. For many years they were considered a joke, and hence none of the top people ran for the party. However, I think now that they are a legit governing party, that next election they will have many more competent people running for them.

    This is not to say that the Tories are a bunch of incompetent hacks, I'm just saying that the top people in private life may not have had the inclination to run for them.

    Personally, I think that the most competent ministers are in Quebec. Michael Fortier, Blackburn, Bernier...they all have impecable resumes.

    The thing is that many of the nominations from 2004 were automatically guaranteed for 2006. Therefore, the people they attracted in 2004 were probably lower on the 'elite' level because the tories had a slim chance of none of winning in 2004.

    In the next election I expect to see a much more competent team than in 2004/06.

    If the Liberals were split apart for 12 years and had no chance of gaining power I doubt the top people in each riding would bother running as well. You gotta do what with you got thought right?

    By Blogger M. K. Braaten, at 2:19 AM  

  • Are you referring to our illustrious mathematical stats prof Dan?

    By Blogger Xone, at 2:26 AM  

  • I like Flaherty quite a bit. Even in the finance committee grilling, he came off as very quick, competent, completely informed on his file.

    I suppose this means I am drinking the Tory koolaid or something. I am sure Team Bush will show up soon to implant the chip. Whatever. Flaherty is a man I am pretty sure I can respect, at this point.

    Yes, Ambrose has been absolutely horrible. I want to be easier on her (I grew up in her riding) - you know, she's got one of the highest profile portfolios these days, ridiculously controversial, and she's totally inexperienced. But I don't think you can blame her entirely -- the Tory environmental policy is completely useless, and I can't imagine what her instructions were as to how to talk to the media about it.

    "A Made in Canada alternative!" Whatever.

    It sounds like, after the Kenya conference, she started to consider more serious action on her file - I don't know if that's on her own initiative or not, but it's possible, and I have to give her the benefit of thinking that she might have a conscience, and that is a point in her favour.

    But mostly, the Harper cabinet is just for tradition, hm? He makes the decisions, he runs the show.

    By Blogger Mike Gillis, at 2:45 AM  

  • Are you referring to our illustrious mathematical stats prof Dan?

    His name isn't Dan! It's Bart! or CG.

    God, I'm having trouble adjusting to this.

    By Blogger robedger, at 5:02 AM  

  • F-?

    what's an F-? =)

    By Blogger Technetium, at 10:42 AM  

  • Chuck Strahl is rapidly proving that it is a mistake to have an Agriculture Minister from BC.

    Imposing ideology and catering to U.S. lobbyists is not serving Canadian farmers well.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 11:04 AM  

  • Another blogger confusing sympathetic or rah-rah reviews in the MSM for "effectiveness". When will people ever learn?

    By Blogger Erik Sorenson, at 12:51 PM  

  • It seems easier to be a bright shining star in Opposition than it does in government. I find Monte Solberg to be a bit of a disappointment, I thought he would be faster at cleaning up the well-identified problems in our refugee process.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 12:52 PM  

  • I think the fact that you don't here MPs berating Monte in QP regularly shows he's doing a good job. There's a saying on the Hill that the less you hear about immigration, the better it's going.

    By Blogger Toby, at 1:20 PM  

  • I would suggest that unless Mr. Dion learns to communicate in English in a real hurry, the CPC report cards will be meaningless in terms of electoral ammunition for the Liberals.

    To be clear, I'm not prejudiced against his accent. As much as I despise Chretien, I always considered him an excellent communicator in English. But Dion's impediment is indeed material.

    And when the report cards inevitably show that performances are not significantly different than those of previous electorally successful liberal governments, this one will die a quick death. Then it's back to trying to understand what Dion is talking about.

    By Blogger Dr. Strangelove, at 2:51 PM  

  • Why should anyone really give a rat's ass what the NDP thinks? Their worst nightmare is now the leader of the Liberal party and that makes the NDP vote rather soft as the Liberals appear to be greener than the Dippers.

    By Blogger Left Right and Center, at 3:34 PM  

  • Hmm, haven't thought about it but now that you mention it, yes, I'd agree on Flaherty, and Bernier. Fortier's probably good, but dammit, I wish he had a real seat.

    Very interesting thoughts on the party attracting better people nowadays for the next election - fascinating, even.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 4:45 PM  

  • Bev Oda and Jim Prentice are doing a fine job. Gary Lunn is doing fine. Rona Ambrose is doing just fine.

    There aren't that many weak Tory ministers, when compared against the past Liberal ministers.

    Gagliano? Even when not under suspicion for corruption...

    Joe Volpe?
    Judy Sgro?
    Andy Scott?
    The PEI guy... you know, with the brother...
    Hedy Fry?
    Stephane Dion?

    the list of incompetent ministers, simply by virtue of time in government, is heavily, heavily weighted with Liberals.

    I mean, let's put

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 6:18 PM  

  • To Bring Back Bowie sign here:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/bowie123/petition.html

    By Blogger whichwaysthegym, at 6:59 PM  

  • Chucker, I really honestly don't know enough to get into a debate with anyone, I just don't have the time to watch CPAC - but I feel Rona Ambrose is doing alright. Not great - but fine. Her focus isn't on global warming, but on the positive side, I think that means she's getting more done on the whole environmental front. She could be better - but she gets a pass from me, from what I see so far.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 6:59 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger The Anonymous Green, at 7:43 PM  

  • Chucker -- You think Rona Ambrose is doing alright but Dion was a poor minister? What a fucking joke haha.

    By Blogger Charlie Barnard, at 7:56 PM  

  • actually, yeah. the Dion thing was a joke. I wouldn't actually have failed him - but there's a busload of folks I would (Stewart, Kaplan, Brison, see, I'm starting a whole new list...)

    By Blogger Chuckercanuck, at 8:00 PM  

  • Rona's in a tough position - given the focus on environment and the Tory platform, it's hard to imagine anyone not getting burned alive in that file. Where she should get docked marks is for getting information wrong in briefings and doing a bad job with the selling of their Green Plan (the leaks raised expectations too high).

    Maybe not a fail, but she probably is in the C-/D+ range if I were grading her.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:23 PM  

  • I miss Monte. It's probably a good thing that he's not more visible since it means he's doing his job but it wouldn't hurt to see more from him.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:24 PM  

  • The Conservative party does have some smart people.

    I just wonder why they aren't in the cabinet.

    How many times does Stockwell Day have to demonstrate his incompetence?

    And I'm sorry to say that Rona Ambrose has almost zero credibility after being caught giving misleading or false information twice to parliamentary committees.

    Peter MacKay and Chuck Strahl are in trouble.

    In order to avoid a meltdown, a cabinet shuffle is needed quickly.

    One just before the Christmas break will give the new ministers time to learn their portfolios before the next session.

    Diane Ablonzcy, your star is in ascent.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 9:40 PM  

  • getting information wrong in briefings and doing a bad job with the selling of their Green Plan (the leaks raised expectations too high).

    Agreed - well said. Definitely not a failure to me, but "could stand some improvement" would look right on her report card.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 10:33 PM  

  • Miles:

    Did you know that Prentice has not been east of Quebec once yet since being elected named Minister of Indian Affairs? Tough to get top marks based on that.

    By Blogger Devin, at 10:16 AM  

  • Rona's toast according to Susan Delacourt.

    Damn women always feast on each other.

    http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1166050212147&call_pageid=970599119419

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 2:03 PM  

  • Devin:

    In his briefings, Prentice was told that the Beothuks were extinct.

    Joe Volpe would have gone anyway.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 2:04 PM  

  • Devin, how many natives live east of Quebec (heck, not that many people live east of Quebec)? Harper needs Prentice at home, to do Gary Lunn's job.

    I think this report card ignores the real job of a cabinet minister - to act as a lightning rod for the prime minister. Some people may call Gagliano a bad minister, but his sleaziness probably extended Chretien's term in office by a year - because it was SOOO easy to blame him.

    Peter Mackay then, is following in the Tory tradition of being the lightning rod. Whenever things are going well in foreign affairs, however, you can be sure Harper will swoop in.

    Rona's problem was that the Tories screwed up their communication strategy with the green plan. They raised expectations through the summer, and then lowballed it. If the Green Plan had been a surprise, it would have been a success (who would have thought that the Tories would do ANYTHING on the environment).

    Rona's problem is more that she is the relentless focus of the opposition and environmental groups - though she is clearly inexperienced and not handling it well.

    Top performers:
    Jim Flaherty
    John Baird
    Jim Prentice

    (I think a lot of you folks are assuming the Quebec ministers are competent, because you don't speak French. Look at the polls in Quebec, or Lawrence Cannon's cock-up on the nation issue - they're not quite the dream team).

    The top 3 screwups
    1. Rona
    2. Peter Mackay
    3. Gary Lunn (Prentice does his job)

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 2:12 PM  

  • I would add Chuck Strahl in Agriculture as a big screw up.

    He has to be moved out quickly or Tories will lose two of three prairie provinces.

    The ideological fertilizer he is spreading is not being received well.

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 2:35 PM  

  • Devin - I thought they had a cabinet meeting in Quebec. Besides I would choose him since he is a moderate and is cooperative, not combative like Harper, otherwise he is nice contrast to Harper's style of governing.

    By Blogger Miles Lunn, at 8:07 PM  

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