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Thursday, July 02 2020 @ 02:29 MDT

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

Jason ramblingSo as expected, Stephen Harper has shuffled his cabinet. Presumably he has done this to prop up sagging Tory fortunes in the polls. Key to this is the replacing of Rona Ambrose with John Baird in the environment portfolio. Harper is likely hoping that Baird will have better luck selling the Tory's environmental non-plan to Canadians than Ambrose had.

Of course Baird will have little luck in this department as well. As the cliché goes, no matter how much lipstick you put on this pig, it's still a pig. A plan where reductions on greenhouse gas aren't into effect until most of the current voters are dead or retired really only makes the oil industry happy. Trying to sell inaction (disguised as delayed action) to the voter is incredibly tough and not likely to succeed. The Tories only care about the environment if it doesn't cost their supporters money and the voters know it. This isn't going to help them in Ontario and Quebec where the environment is an important issue. Combine this with a new Liberal leader who looks like he's going to campaign on an environmental platform and it's a recipe for disaster for the Tories.

Ambrose herself is shuffled into intergovernmental affairs, where she doesn't have to actually talk to voters or the media. Other notable shuffles, Vic Towes is out of the Justice ministry (presumably he wasn't tough enough on criminals) and becomes President of the Treasury Board while Rob Nicholson moves into Justice. Monte Solberg moves from Immigration to Human Resources swapping with Diane Finley. In general, no new blood at the top and some moving around of who he has. The message Harper's trying to send the voter is that "see, I can change things" while not really changing things.

Harper also appointed a slew of new Secretaries of State. Notable in this was the appointment of Jason Kenny as Secretary of State for multiculturalism. An interesting choice given that Kenny isn't a big supporter of multiculturalism. It's kind of like putting a pre 1970's George Wallace in charge of desegregation. This isn't a move that is likely to help the Harper government gain support outside of southern Alberta.

Over all, it would appear that Harper is getting desperate. He can't admit error by getting rid of cabinet ministers that aren't performing, so all he does is move them around in a shell game designed to trick the electorate. It's not likely to work and the opposition parties are starting to smell blood. The only reason the Opposition has to hold off on an election is that if they give the Tories even more rope, the Tories will set about making a really nice noose for themselves.

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Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic
Authored by: Anonymous onFriday, January 05 2007 @ 07:20 MST
I suspect that Toews' musings about a "Defense of Religion Act" (DoRA) is what did him in - along with some fairly obvious problems where his legislation is clearly in conflict with fundamental principles in our Constitution. (Like the presumption of innocence)

I'm a bit surprised that he left Day in a prominent portfoolio - that man's been making quite a public ass of himself in columns he writes for the local papers in his riding lately, and has been getting roasted for it.

Oh well, I hope that as you say it's "shuffling the deck chairs", and Harper's Titanic has already encountered its iceberg.

- Grog