Wednesday is cabinet shuffle day!
It’s a time when every political junky becomes an armchair Prime Minister and, like the NCAA Final Four Tournament, people are making their picks & placing their bets.
I’m being told not to expect a major shift in the framework of this cabinet, with key ministers like Jim Flaherty in Finance, Rob Nicholson in Justice and Vic Toews in Public Safety likely staying put.
But there are 6 open spots, including Foreign Affairs Minister and Treasury Board President. That means in total we could see up to a dozen switcheroos and promotions/demotions taking place.
Here is some of the speculation I’ve been hearing around the Hill.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney may take over in Foreign Affairs after Lawrence Cannon was knocked out by the orange wave.
House Leader John Baird is said to be getting the Treasury spot following Stockwell Day’s retirement from a long political career.
I’m also hearing James Moore may get a bump up from the Heritage portfolio to Transport. That department was run by Chuck Strahl before he decided to retire.
But let’s not forget there are a couple of strategic games that must be played.
The first is the regional game.
The Prime Minister has little to nothing in terms of representation in Quebec. That likely means we will see Maxime Bernier back in cabinet after he resigned for leaving sensitive documents at his girlfriend’s place.
Peter Penashue gave Harper a seat in Newfoundland and Labrador once again. As former head of the Innu Nation of Labrador & the only Tory elected in the province, he has a lot to offer and may gain a spot in the inner circle.
Harper will also have to reward at least one of the new MP’s from the Toronto area. Julian Fantino is already in and could get a promotion, but another junior position may be added for someone like Chris Alexander in Ajax.
The second is the gender game
Following the “Bev Oda affair” will the International Cooperation Minister keep the position or will Harper make room for a new face? Oda may not get the axe from cabinet and could just get a demotion.
Leona Aglukkaq is in Health and may stay, although Harper now has Dr. Kellie Leitch from Simcoe-Grey. As a pediatric surgeon and founder of the Kids Health Foundation she would seem like a natural fit in the position.
He also has Eve Adams from Mississauga-Brampton South for whatever position he pleases. She had been a city councilor in Mississauga before being elected, and knows a thing or two about politics. GTA + experience + female = a good chance at a cabinet post.
I’m not trying to be sexist, but the Conservatives can increase their female representation in cabinet and have some very talented MP’s to work with.
Once again I would like to reiterate that this is all speculation. No one in the public or the media truly knows who is going where at this point. The order of silence is strong in the Prime Minister’s Office and very few people actually know what’s going on.
I guess we’ll have to wait for 11:15am to see how well the pundits and insiders did with their predictions.