1. Ignatieff’s two leadership rivals clearly wound up with the portfolios they wanted - Rae to Foreign Affairs and LeBlanc to Justice. And with no deputy leader named, Rae pretty much becomes the de facto number 1.
2. But benevolence to the vanquished is to be expected. What’s really surprising is how well Rae supporters were treated. Of the 10 confirmed MPs backing Rae’s leadership bid, 5 wound up with posts (Savage, Kennedy, Volpe, Neville, Mendes).
3. I know this is being portrayed as a "lean and focused line-up" but with 34 critics and 4 whips/house leaders, half the MPs still got something. So, with that in mind, seeing who's out is as telling as seeing who's in. And, at first glance, the most obvious exclusions would appear to be Stephane Dion, Irwin Cotler, and Ujjal Dosanjh. Any of the three would have had a critic spot if he'd wanted one, so I take this to mean that the nomination battles have unofficially begun in St. Laurent Cartierville, Mount Royal and Vancouver South. (And, just like that, Martin Cauchon's ears perk up)
4. Ujjal's exclusion is a shame, if only because it leaves Western Canada with little pull. Goodale is back as house leader but Neville, Bagnell, Dhaliwal, and Martin wound up with smaller portfolios. Hedy Fry and Joyce Murray both found themselves on the outside looking in - somewhat surprising given the lack of female and western representation. Still, Iggy deserves some credit for standing up for Alberta au Quebec of all places.
5. Remember Ignatieff's talk of having a "succession plan" in place? Well, it's fairly obvious that, unlike his hero Pearson, Ignatieff does not plan to be followed by a Trudeau. A pair of Quebec rookie MPs found their way into today's announcement - Marc Garneau and Alexandra Mendes (yes, THE Alexandra Mendes) - but the Trudeau name was nowhere to be seen. I'm all for making Justin earn his way up the ranks, but his star power and usefulness in QP do make the exclusion a bit surprising.
6. As mentioned above, Garneau blasts off to Industry a few months into his MP career.
7. Denis Coderre is, not surprisingly, in as Quebec Lieutenant. Say what you will about Denis Coderre and his suitability for revitalizing the Liberal brand in Quebec, but at least he said yes when his leader asked him to take on a post this important for the party's future in Quebec.
8. By my count, 10 of the 38 positions were filled by women. Now, obviously Ignatieff plays with the hand he's dealt, but for what it's worth 11 of the 38 Harper Cabinet Ministers are women. What's more, with the exception of Carolyn Bennett and Martha Hall Findlay, none of these women are taking on what I'd call high profile positions.
9. "Ken Dryden will take on the new role of National Outreach Advisor, Working Families & Poverty, reflecting his long-standing commitments to these issues, and will also act as Special Liaison, National Fundraising." That kind of looks like a title you'd get by randomly tossing together magnets from a political fridge poetry set. Still, it sounds like the kind of thing Ken Dryden would be good at.
10. John McCallum replaces Brison in Finance. Again, not a huge surprise, but noteworthy given the importance of economy as an issue right now.
11. Fun matchups: Holland versus Van Loan, and Easter versus Ritz.