Thursday, November 04, 2010

Maybe he's running for the BC Liberal Leadership...

Prentice and the Tory caucus, in happier times

Sadly, he's not resigning in furor over the potash deal. There isn't a hidden scandal involving Chinese pandas. He's not in any way involved with Julie Couillard.

Rather, Jim Prentice will resign as an MP to take a Vice-President position at CIBC. I'm not up on my conflict-of-interest rules, but I'm sure the Tories will assure us this doesn't breach any ethical guidelines and the Liberals will assure us it most certainly does.

Well, that's the official explanation for his departure. The more truthful one is that being Stephen Harper's environment minister is a miserable job that is quietly killing Prentice's soul and/or leadership ambitions. So, bon voyage Jim - we'll look you up when Stephen Harper or Ed Stelmach announce their resignations.

As for what it all means, we'll have a by election in Calgary - I'll leave it to the good people at Pundits Guide to speculate on timing, though I suspect it will get rolled up with the other two by elections we have coming down the pipe (one for a Bloc seat in Quebec, the other in Jay Hill's BC riding). Being Calgary, (spoiler alert!) the Conservatives will win that by election (though to downplay expectations the PMO will let Jane Taber know it's the Liberals' seat to lose).

I know it won't happen, but if anyone wants to speculate about Dave Bronconnier making a jump to federal politics, this would be a good time to do that. Calgary Centre-North one of the most Liberal-friendly ridings in the city, a popular moderate incumbent is leaving, and a by election entry point would let Bronconnier win on his name rather than on the Liberal brand. Toss in frustration among the Tory base over wild spending, and this is about as good a chance as Bronco's ever going to get. Hell, the city's even in a "let's go wild" kind of mood, having just elected Naheed Nenshi as mayor. Maybe they'd be crazy enough to vote in a Liberal!

But assuming Bronco doesn't run, the more interesting side effect of this is the inevitable Cabinet shuffle speculation we're about to be subjected to. John Baird will act as interim environment minister but assuming "interim" actually means "interim" (and this isn't like "Canada's new government") someone else will eventually inherit the portfolio.

As mentioned above, it's not exactly a prize job. I have no clue who Harper will choose, though I'm guessing it's likely someone whose leadership ambitions Harper is looking to crush.

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  • Bernier for Environment Minister!

    By Blogger Jordan, at 3:53 p.m.  

  • What about Ric Mciver or Barb Higgins for the Tory nomination?

    By Anonymous Deb, at 3:53 p.m.  

  • Would Barb Higgins be a Conservative?

    By Blogger Jordan, at 4:05 p.m.  

  • McIver was supported by the Harper team in the mayor's race, so he would be the logical one to run; though I don't know how well he would actually do.

    By Blogger Holly Stick, at 5:40 p.m.  

  • Bronconnier is busy right now. He is trying to get his personal finances in order... and he is trying to avoid a corruption scandal...

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

  • ...though to downplay expectations the PMO will let Jane Taber know it's the Liberals' seat to lose...

    Good one.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 12:57 a.m.  

  • "though to downplay expectations the PMO will let Jane Taber know it's the Liberals' seat to lose"


    By Anonymous jaredc, at 4:12 a.m.  

  • I feel like it's "too soon" for McIver or Higgins to jump, especially Higgins who really looked out of her element during the campaign. And Ric is probably better suited for something a bit closer to his home ward (though I can't see Kenney or Harper leaving anytime soon).

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:12 a.m.  

  • You mention that Calgary Centre-North is one of the most Liberal friendly ridings in Calgary. What would be the other one(s)?

    By Blogger Bailey, at 10:00 a.m.  

  • To answer Bailey, Calgary Centre is certainly the most winnable, as Joe Clark won it in 2000.

    If you're up against Rob Anders, I'd say Calgary West is even more winnable than Calgary North-Centre.

    After that, I think Calgary North-East would be the only other winnable riding, and it would take both a disaster and a star candidate.

    P.S. Higgins is like Stronach - she can run for any party. She's a name/face without political opinions of her own.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:23 a.m.  

  • Both Higgins and McIver have signaled their interest. McIver has described his interest as "serious".

    A race between Bronconnier and McIver, however unlikely, represents some potentially good election. Just the thought makes me a little weak in the knees. I'm not sure the city could handle it.

    By Anonymous Scott H. Payne, at 10:45 a.m.  

  • @Calgary Grit:

    Slight correction needed:

    I believe Prentice will be a Vice-Chairman and Sr EVP at CIBC, not a VP as is indicated in your post.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1:36 p.m.  

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