Monday, April 30, 2007

Defense Pool

If you're like me and your hockey pool isn't going great, why not try your luck at the "Gordon O'Connor shuffle pool". Simply pick who the next Minister of Defense will be and when the shuffle will occur and I will use some arbitrary method to pick a winner.

And if you think Harper is a big Tammy Wynette fan and will stand by his man on this one, well then, feel free to pick 2014 for the shuffle...or pick a Liberal to be the next Minister of Defense.

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  • My predictions...

    Next defense minister: Peter MacKay
    When the shuffle will be: before the fall session (do they shuffle cabinets in the summer? If so, that's when it'll happen).

    By Blogger daniel, at 8:42 p.m.  

  • As for who will be the next defence minister, I really have no idea although I suspect the shuffle will occur probably before the summer recess.

    Daniel - Yes they do shuffle cabinets in the summer, it is quite common to do it then.

    By Blogger Monkey Loves to Fight, at 10:33 p.m.  

  • Gordon O'Connor, I hope.

    By Blogger Tylere, at 10:35 p.m.  

  • Next defence minister: Gary Lunn

    When: The night of a major hockey match.

    By Blogger Matthew Naylor, at 10:54 p.m.  

  • There will be no change. O`Connor is a top military man with more experence than anybody in the whole House Of Commons. He is not a politician but he is very smart when it comes to military matters and he is well liked by the troops. Another plus is that he stays sober.

    By Blogger islandconservative, at 11:10 p.m.  

  • He is not a politician

    Which has proven something of a problem, since he holds a political office of considerable importance.

    He'll be shuffled over the summer, when people are busy doing other things.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 11:43 p.m.  

  • The next defence minister will be John Baird. He will brandish his hyper-partisan oratory. He will firstly deny that there is a conflict in Afghanistan. Then he will embrace it and commit 10,000 troops to Afghanistan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:04 a.m.  

  • If O'Connor is replaced... maybe Laurie Hawn comes out of the back-benches? If only Harper could get Lewis Mackenzie to run...

    By Blogger french wedding cat, at 12:17 a.m.  

  • Incidentally, "defense" as a noun is the American spelling.

    And Lewis MacKenzie as antidote to a gaffe-ridden defence minister: an amusing suggestion if ever there was one.

    It's incredible what that man gets away with saying because he's regarded a war hero. It would be worth it to have him in politics just to see his false halo fade a bit.

    By Blogger saphorr, at 12:56 a.m.  

  • I have mentioned this in Red Tory's blog.

    My shocker pick for the next Defence Minister: Rahim Jaffer. Hails from the military town of Edmonton and a visible minority to boot.

    If the Grits defeat the CPC on a non-confidence motion, then it will be Ujjal Dosanjh.

    Grit Patriot: John Baird? Is he going to fax the Canadian surge to victory war plan to the Liberals any time soon?

    Hosertohoosier: Not that pro-Serb war criminal Lewis Mackenzie. If he was a honourable Canadian, he should have resigned his commission and lobbied Chretien to arm the Bosnian Muslims.

    Nevertheless, the next CPC Defence Minister needs to make humanitarian intervention in Darfur a priority. If it is a Liberal, then the next Defence Minister should downscale the military and pursue a pacifist policy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:01 a.m.  

  • Seems to me that Laurie Hawn must have been kept out of cabinet for a reason. Craig Oliver mentioned Jay Hill as a possibility.

    By Blogger Dan McKenzie, at 1:04 a.m.  

  • Anyway, if no more fuel is poured on the Afghan detainee issue, I would guess O'Connor will be quietly left out of cabinet in the next shuffle, about June. (Otherwise, if something new comes up, he may be out sooner.) For now I'll bet on the former.

    As for who the next minister is, since MacKay is taken, I'll (somewhat arbitrarily) pick Jim Prentice.

    Prentice doesn't have as clear a connection to his current portfolio (Indian Affairs) as some ministers, and he's had a couple gaffes there so it might make sense to move him out.

    By Blogger saphorr, at 1:09 a.m.  

  • Within the next few weeks - I really don't see Harper holding on long enough to make it to the recess (I like the major hockey match idea).

    Who's in? In my dream world - Rob Anders ("all the detainees were terrorists AND communists so they had it coming") but in all honesty, I'd go with Laurie Hawn.

    Oh, and being a military man is actually a bad thing - you don't want a minister to have intricate links to the ministry because they instantly become part of the "group think". Oh, and also, O'Connor was a former lobbyist in the defence field..a bit of a conflict.

    By Blogger Glen, at 2:59 a.m.  

  • " don't want a minister to have intricate links to the ministry because they instantly become part of the "group think"..." because OF COURSE you wouldn't want someone who actually understands the way the military works in charge of, um, the military.

    Yeah, cause Ujjal is so convincing.

    What do you guys smoke? Just curious. I used to work for a Calgarian Liberal and when it came to politics, honestly, I thought we were living in different dimensions or something. That comment kinda confirms that.

    By Blogger Candace, at 3:15 a.m.  

  • candace said

    "What do you guys smoke?"

    Actually, I don't smoke anything.

    Why don't you tell us why a military man would make a better Defence Minister than ,say, an experienced politician/manager?

    I presume that you have held management or command responsibilities?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:16 a.m.  

  • Candace - intricate links to the ministry you're involved in is a bad thing.

    "there's one danger - that Ministers may become departmental spokesmen. The other danger we face is that the Departments get togetehr and dictate to the politicians behind the scenes...The effective Minister is the man who wins support of his Department without becoming its cherished mascot."

    - Richard Crossman
    British Cabinet Minister (1964-1969)
    Professor of Politics Oxford University

    If you want, I can also cite Morton (yes, that Morton), Max Weber, and at least 3 more (if I can dig up the book).

    By Blogger Glen, at 12:30 p.m.  

  • Well, way back when, my initial prediction was Jay Hill for Defence Minister. Then I predicted O'Connor would be shuffled in January and replaced with Peter MacKay.

    I think however that Harper will standby his man. If he doesn't, he seems to like to put John Baird on the tough files, so perhaps now that the Tories have launched their "so called" green plan, Baird is ready for another challenge.

    By Blogger nbpolitico, at 1:13 p.m.  

  • As I said earlier Harper announced today he will NOT replace O`Connor....looks like the Taliban huggers lost again!

    By Blogger islandconservative, at 2:54 p.m.  

  • The real question is whether Dion will stand by her man, Elizabeth May, after May's comments over the weekend.

    Or do May's comments reflect what the Liberals really feel?

    By Blogger Paul, at 3:00 p.m.  

  • Opposition parties played politics against the Tories with Doan as the puck.

    Liberal Leader Stephane Dion said the Tories’ silence on the issue was “shocking,” while Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe admonished the government for not taking a stand on an issue that he said was disrespectful to francophones. NDP Leader Jack Layton said Doan’s captaincy would “cast a shadow” on Canada’s participation in the tournament.

    Not only do they "support" our troops. Now they've moved onto "supporting" our hockey players.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:08 p.m.  

  • Just for the heck of leaving a guess - I'll say Maxime Bernier.

    Elizabeth May is an idiot, AND SO IS EVERY GREEN MEMBER WHO SUPPORTED HER LEADERSHIP BID. As nations get the governments they deserve, so too do parties get the leadership they deserve. The Greens are becoming more high-profile each day, true - but they're becoming a joke to me.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 4:38 p.m.  

  • I lost interest in the Conservative Party the moment Rona Ambrose was fired as Environment Minister :-(

    By Blogger S.J. Valentine, at 6:10 p.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:13 p.m.  

  • I think it'll take at least another major bump to finally knock O'Connor overboard... Harper and standing by his man and all that.

    If he does go, though, here's an outside suggestion that maybe Jim Prentice could get the nod. He got a bit of buzz along with Baird back in the leadup to the last shuffle as a potential competent Mr. Fixit. Apparently has Harper's trust, probably due for a promotion in terms of profile out of Indian Affairs, and doesn't put out an angry hawk vibe.

    By Blogger Tom, at 11:22 p.m.  

  • Rona Ambrose for Prime Minister!

    She’s prettier than harper. She’s smarter than McKay. She lies less than baird. She’s younger than conner. Why shouldn’t she be conservative leader? She can do it if Stockwell Day can too!

    By Blogger JimTan, at 11:22 p.m.  

  • We all know there is only one person out there who knows O'Connor's future...
    Michelle Muntean.

    This evening she let me use her crystal ball (on the taxpayer's dime of course). Her crystal ball told me August 24... MacKay, or possibly Prentice.

    Grit Patriot, you crack me up!

    By Blogger kenlister1, at 12:14 a.m.  

  • jimtan, I've held management, but not military mgmt, responsibilities.

    Management, in private industry, is about money. In the military, not so much (one hopes, anyway).

    Different world, different scopes, different pretty-much-everything, I would think.

    By Blogger Candace, at 2:39 a.m.  

  • Candace said

    “Management, in private industry, is about money. In the military, not so much (one hopes, anyway).”

    Hmmm! Here’s a chance for me to ‘show off’.

    Management (in private industry) and the senior military hierarchy are the same in one respect. It’s about power and money. Rick Hillier wants to rebuild a conventional military ala the Cold War.

    Apparently, peacekeeping isn’t heroic enough for the he-men of the universe. They want tanks, guns, and war-crafts. They need money. That why Hillier and associates need a shooting war. They are leasing 40 tonne main battle tanks to fight guerillas.

    There is one important difference. Private industry earns its money in a transparent manner in public markets. The military and defense industry operate through lobbying.

    President/General Eisenhower warned about the dangers of the industrial-military complex. We’ve got to be careful of the tail wagging the dog. That’s why an ex-lobbyist general is a scary idea. Unless, you belong to a certain ideological group that treasures guns and he-men.

    The general staff runs the army. Much of their concern involves logistics. That is, to source, accumulate and deliver food, fuel men, weapons and 10,000 items to where they are needed. In this respect, the military is no different from Wal-Mart and no organization is as sophisticated in supply chain management as Wal-Mart.

    Similarly, the recruitment, training and indoctrination of military personnel are done rationally in a HR manner. For example, mechanized infantrymen are not trained to be killers. In basic training, they are taught to respect/fear authority and to exactly obey orders. In the unit, they join a team and operate weapon systems.

    Anyway, I would propose that a good manager/politician would serve the soldiers and the government better than an ex-general lobbyist. In fact, many generals turned politicians have disgraced themselves. Conner because he failed to supervise Hillier. Colin Powell when he lied to the public.

    Hope this helps?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:22 a.m.  

  • I think O'Connor will survive until things cool down a bit. Then he will be shuffled out, as part of a broad cabinet shuffle. They won't want to make it look like he is being fired. I think it's a good idea to have a man with military experience as the MND, however in hindsight, Minister O'Connor wasn't the right guy. How many times do you think Eggleton, Collinette, or McCallum were hoodwinked, because none of them had a clue.
    As far as the CDS goes, Gen Hillier is a good man. If you've ever heard of the phrase "Army Transformation", you will know that Hillier isn't trying to go back to the "cold war" era of a military. He had a mandate from his political masters (Liberals at the time he was selected as CDS) to regenerate the army, and make it viable in the "post cold war" era. Since the government has changed, the military is more of a priority and has been given more resources. We are sending our people off to war, why shouldn't we be equiping them properly? If it means that they need better tanks, get them better tanks.

    By Blogger Mercury Rising, at 11:38 a.m.  

  • mercury said

    "How many times do you think Eggleton, Collinette, or McCallum were hoodwinked, because none of them had a clue."

    Actually, some are of the opinion that Hillier lied to his Liberal political masters. That the Canadian expedition would be solely used to defend Kandahar (like in Kabul) in conjunction with substantial NATO forces.

    Why else would the Liberal government sent two infantry battalions to take on a hostile province? You don’t need to be a military man to know that this is insane. Even the opium traffickers can mobilize many more fighters than that.

    The problem, as our commanding general discovered, was that you couldn’t defend Kandahar by sitting still. You have to strike at nearby enemy concentrations. You have to patrol in order to deny freedom of movement to he insurgents.

    Canadian troops suffered the highest casualty rate among NATO contingents because we were so few.

    The conservatives took power as the troops were being deployed to Kandahar. And, the generals got carte blanche until casualties mounted. That’s why Hillier had to personally greet the coffins in 2006. And, the expedition has a lesser role in 2007.

    Now, harper and conner are blaming Hillier. And, Hillier has just shown up in Afghanistan with the STANLEY CUP. Apparently, the same general thinks that heavy tanks (air-condition optional) would be invaluable in defeating irregular fighters.

    Others think that self-propelled howitzers would be more useful in mountainous regions. Compare a 40-tonne tank to a light M777 howitzer (which can be air lifted by a helicopter) with a firing range of 24km.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:09 p.m.  

  • Discuss defence policy on a Liberal blog ?

    You might as well discuss sex positions with a priest . . . .

    By Blogger GMcCready, at 9:42 a.m.  

  • Others think that self-propelled howitzers would be more useful in mountainous regions. Compare a 40-tonne tank to a light M777 howitzer (which can be air lifted by a helicopter) with a firing range of 24km.

    Maybe you'd be good enough to explain how a self-propelled howitzer is air transportable by helo. Mechanised arty tends to weigh in at about 55,000lbs, while our to-be-purchased CH-47 heavy lift helos can only heft 26,000lbs externally.

    The M777 you cite is a towed artillery piece, not self-propelled. More of them would be useful, but they lack any sort of self-deployment or shoot-and-scoot capability.

    By Blogger Chris Taylor, at 12:02 a.m.  

  • chris said

    "The M777 you cite is a towed artillery piece, not self-propelled."

    Yes, I know that.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:37 a.m.  

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