Wednesday, August 15, 2007

This just in

According to an important new study, a diet heavy in red meat, fatty and processed foods is bad for you.

Who knew?

Seducing women voters

This morning's paper features prominent pictures of Maxime Bernier, Peter MacKay, Jim Prentice and Chuck Strahl, and I can't help but notice that they're all very good looking men. Is this Harper's strategy for increasing his support among Canadian women? Maybe women won't notice that the government is ignoring their needs as long as its ministers are a bunch of hotties.

Meanwhile, the sensitive, compassionate Liberals will be relegated to the status of "just good friends".

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

And the winner is?

Okay, the results are in, and my prediction score is 12½. To get that score, I gave myself one point for every correct prediction (including who would stay in place) and ½ a point for everyone who I predicted would move, but where I was wrong about where they went. I also subtracted ½ a point for everyone I predicted would move but didn't.

So who did better? Step up and enter your name into the draw. As Marjaleena pointed out, the MacKay/Orchard agreement was scrawled on a piece of notebook paper, not an envelope, so the winner will receive a genuine copy of that valuable document folded into a pouch and filled with my sofa change, which I've not yet counted, but which I guarantee totals at least a dollar.

One for me! Woohoo!

O'Connor gets Revenue. Nice to not be wrong all the time.

Has anyone else noticed that Peter MacKay has little grey patches on the back of his head? Patchy grey is usually a sign of trauma, isn't it? Perhaps it's where the hair has grown back over his lobotomy scars. Or maybe he had to have some implants put in when he sold the PC party to the Canadian Reform Alliance Party.

And with a smile from ear to ear...

Diane Ablonczy arrives at Rideau Hall. So the top government officials who insisted that no backbenchers would be promoted were yanking our collective chains, after all.

Shuffle madness begins in earnest

And I'm wrong on at least one count. Gerry Ritz showing up chez GG means that Lynne Yellich will not be promoted into cabinet.

A storm by any other name

Okay, who's responsible for naming hurricanes? Common... Flossie?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Steve's Cabinet Picks

Speculations. We got speculations. And we're willing to put our money where our mouth is. Anyone who gets more correct cabinet placements than me will be ELIGIBLE TO WIN a genuine replica of the envelope Peter MacKay used to betray David Orchard. Plus I'll fill it with all the change from underneath my sofa cushions.

So with that sweet offer, and without further ado, here's my Canada's New Government™ team line-up prediction for 2007 (thoughts and explanations to follow). It starts with Carol Skelton, who isn't running again, and who vacates Revenue, setting up the following dominos:

Revenue: Gordon O'Connor moves from Defense
Defense: Maxime Bernier moves from Industry
Industry: Gary Lunn moves from Natural Resources
Natural Resources: Rona Ambrose moves from Intergovernmental Affairs
Intergovernmental Affairs: Tony Clement moves from Health
Health: Monte Solberg moves from HRSD
Human Resources & Skills Development: Lawrence Cannon moves from Transport
Transport: Peter MacKay moves from Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs: Jim Prentice moves from Indian Affairs
Indian Affairs: Lynne Yellich gets promoted from the back benches

One direct trade:
Heritage: Jason Kenney moves from Multiculturalism & Culture
Multiculturalism & Culture (Minister of State): Bev Oda

And the remaining Ministers will stay where they are:
Justice: Rob Nicholson
International Trade: David Emerson
Labour and Housing: Jean-Pierre Blackburn
Veterans Affairs: Greg Thompson
Agriculture: Chuck Strahl
Fisheries: Loyola Hearn
Public Safety: Stockwell Day
Treasury: Vic Towes
Immigration: Diane Finley
Environment: John Baird
Finance: Jim Flaherty
CIDA: Josée Verner
Public Works: Michael Fortier
House Leader: Peter Van Loan
Whip: Jay Hill

O'Connor has to go from Defense. The Afghanistan file is bogged down and needs someone who can pick it up and make it work for Harper, particularly in Quebec. Bernier's the man. But O'Connor won't go to Veterans Affairs, because it's too obvious and Harper doesn't want to be predictable. Revenue won't be seen as a demotion to the same extent Veterans Affairs would be, but it's sufficiently low-profile to get O'Connor out of the spotlight.

Moving Clement from Health to Intergovernmental Affairs may look like a demotion on the surface, but federal-provincial relations is going to be a hotter file than anytime since 1995. It needs someone with a steady hand who can handle himself in public.

Canada's role in the world will be one of Harper's key priorities following a fall throne speech, and Jim Prentice, who's one of Harper's most trusted Ministers, will take front and centre. Moving Peter MacKay to Transport will be seen as a lateral move, although in MacKay's case it should really be viewed as a demotion.

Lynne Yellich will be the only backbencher to move to the the grown-ups table. With Skelton out, Harper needs a woman and someone from Saskatchewan. The need for women representation in Cabinet will also mean that Bev Oda won't go to the back benches, but Heritage needs someone who can speak, so it goes to Kenney.

Nicholson will hang onto Justice and Day will stay in Public Safety. Both have performed well in their respective portfolios. There's been speculation that Day might move to Justice, but that would set up the same problems that existed when Vic Towes was working that file. Like Towes, Day is too socially conservative for the government to maintain its centrist appearance, and he's too easy to attack.

Coincidence? I think not.

Karl Rove resigns from his job as George Dubya's chief political strategist just as Prime Minister Steve is getting ready to shuffle his cabinet. Hmmmm. There are plenty of Senate seats available.