Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baird to Foreign Affairs & other shuffle notes

The last time I wrote one of these cabinet shuffle posts I was angrily and ceremoniously unfollowed by a guy on Twitter. Apparently I was being "disrespectful" to the Prime Minister who was in the midst of a lengthy prorogation and yet who had suddenly become a hero on the Haiti file according to this chap. My view then that the Harper cabinet is largely about one person, Mr. Harper, did not go over so well. That still seems to be a legitimate view to me, however, proven over much time now. Long story short, I will do my best to live up to that precedent and garner another unfollow with this...

Baird to Foreign Affairs. My. What is Canada coming to these days. Well, you can't blame Harp, really. Baird is the best he's got - relatively speaking - and the U.S. file is quite important to him right about now. And always. That Security Perimeter deal in particular just might be shaping up to be some kind of legacy thing for Harper. Further, the U.S. is on to his whole partisan act. The Arctic Sovereignty pageantry has been recognized for what it is by the 'Merkins and they really were quite humorous in the way they went about dissing on it in the back channels. Not so funny if you're Harp though. So Mr. Fixit is on the way!

With the tremendous gift of the gab. Not sold, in this corner, on the merits of the speed talker as diplomatic ingenue, however. Has he suddenly taken an interest in world affairs? Is there some heft in his background that makes him a natural choice for such a post? Is he a budding Axworthy? Nope, probably not.

In fact, if we recall Baird's achievements on the international stage during the Harper era, one of the standout moments has to be his obstructionist performance at Bali. The climate change concerned world will no doubt be intrigued then by his reemergence as Foreign Affairs Minister. Secondly, Baird is the one who was instrumental in getting Harp to go with the stance that saw us booted from Camp Mirage in the UAE at a cost of hundreds of needless millions. Already displaying he had Harper's ear on foreign matters, over defence concerns, for example. On both counts, living up to that bull in a china shop kind of thing he has going on.

But...these are not normal times when such matters would work against him. Not in Harper's Canada. So it's onwards to Foreign Affairs. Assuming all this reportage is correct, that is.

Other things that will be interesting to watch today...

Who "gets" the Environment portfolio. Oh, wait. See above. And it's likely to stay with Kent, who has an ability to keep people in a somnambulant state. Suited for that ministry given that even today, reputable voices in the U.S. are characterizing climate change action as an "enormous long shot." And we all know what our motto on this file is. As the U.S. goes, so goes Canada.

Where on earth does the force known as Jason Kenney end up? Surely he's eaten enough curry by now and is due a promotion to....Treasury? Harp doesn't dare. Does he? Or Heritage maybe? Or does Moore stay there.

Mad Max to swing the axe at Treasury? Harp doesn't dare. Does he?

Who "gets" Status of Women. Will there be a full time minister or will Rona keep it as a part time hobby?

Flaherty remains at Finance. Lord. It's gonna be a long four years.

Well, I think I'm all tapped out on the interest level. I did my best.

To be updated later if events warrant or anything remotely interesting happens.