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The Next Canadian Liberal Cabinet


Big Guy

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Putting Adam Vaughn for municipal affairs seems like a good idea to me. What do you think ?

I don't think there'll be a "municipal affairs" portfolio, but instead maybe a minister of infrastructure and development. Perhaps Adam Vaughan could be on that portfolio. Similar idea. It's a key plank though, so it might go to someone like Ralph Goodale instead. Edited by cybercoma
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I don't understand the idea as to why a Prime Minister would appoint a leader of another political party as a minister?

He won't appoint her for three reasons.

1) He has far too many capable MPs already.

2) Having her as a Minister would make the Green Party irrelevant, but they're already barely relevant so there's no need

and

3) Appointing Elizabeth May as Minister of the Environment would be akin to Harper appointing the CEO of an oil company as Minister of the Environment. He needs someone who can negotiate and mediate energy and the environment, not an activist.

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He won't appoint her for three reasons.

1) He has far too many capable MPs already.

2) Having her as a Minister would make the Green Party irrelevant, but they're already barely relevant so there's no need

and

3) Appointing Elizabeth May as Minister of the Environment would be akin to Harper appointing the CEO of an oil company as Minister of the Environment. He needs someone who can negotiate and mediate energy and the environment, not an activist.

I don't understand why Trudeau promised such a small cabinet. He has a crapload of promises to keep and I would think he needs a bigger team of senior people. I know a lot of people would jump on him for it but this is one promise that I would be happy to see broken.

Conversely, I don't understand why Harper had such a huge cabinet when all of the decisions were made in the PMO.

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I don't understand why Trudeau promised such a small cabinet. He has a crapload of promises to keep and I would think he needs a bigger team of senior people.

It's easy actually - you appoint only 24 ministers, and anything else you need can be handled by underlings, probably in this case parliamentary secretaries as secretary of state is technically part of the cabinet (though not the ministry) and ministers of state are really just less important ministers.

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Oh, I wasn't trying to correct you. Just providing the numbers.

I was under the impressing that ministers of state were part of the cabinet and ministry, and that secretaries of state were still part of the cabinet. I had that backwards and wrong lol. I'm thinking when Trudeau says he plans to shrink cabinet he means the ministry as well.

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This discussion about women in cabinet and all that really annoys me.

Find the best person for the job. Leave race, sex all of that crap out of it. The CPC leaders are pulling the same old sex card. I'm a young female chick so I should be able to lead....

In most cases there is no "best person for the job". There's a variety of qualified people (particularly in a system which tends to encourage assigning generalists, as the parliamentary system does, rather than hiring experts). And we've always assigned cabinet posts with things like geography as a factor; the notion that the cabinet should in some respect respect the Canadian population is not a radical one.

As far as the size of the Cabinet, the core ministerial posts are:

1. Prime Minister
2. Minister of Finance
3. Minister of Justice and Attorney General
4. Minister of Foreign Affairs
5. Minister of National Defence
6. Minister of Industry
7. Minister of Transport
8. President of the Treasury Board
9. Minister of the Environment
10. Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
11. Minister of International Trade
12. Minister of National Revenue
13. Minister of Veterans Affairs
14. Minister of Natural Resources
15. Minister of Health
16. Minister of Public Works and Government Services
17. Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs & President of the Privy Council
18. Minister for Aboriginal and Northern Affairs
19. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
20. Minister of Agriculture
21. Minister of Labour
22. Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
23. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
24. Minister of Canadian Heritage
25. Minister of International Cooperation
26. Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
27. Chief Government Whip
Sometimes the Chief Whip isn't a minister; you can also have a standalone Deputy PM, or give that on top of another ministerial job, or not use the title at all (Harper didn't; maybe the idea of there being a deputy prime minister offended his controlling tendencies). In the above list there's an odd number of posts, so he'd either have to cut it down by one or balance it out by one. So:
Gentlemen
1. Justin Trudeau (QC)
2. Ralph Goodale (SK)
3. Dominic LeBlanc (NB)
4. Scott Brison (NS)
5. Sean Casey / Wayne Easter (PE)
6. Amarjeet Sohi / Randy Boissonnault (AB)
7. Kent Hehr / Darshan Kang (AB)
8. Marc Garneau (QC)
9. Stephane Dion (QC)
10. Bill Blair (ON)
12. John McCallum (ON)
13. Andrew Leslie (ON)
14. Harjit Sajjan (BC)
Ladies
1. Chrystia Freeland (ON)
2. Judy Foote / Yvonne Jones (NL)
3. Joyce Murray (BC)
4. Jody Wilson-Raybould (BC)
5. Melanie Joly (QC)
6. Carolyn Bennett (ON)
7. Kirsty Duncan (ON)
8. MaryAnn Mihychuk (MB)
9. ?
10. ?
11. ?
12. ?
13. ?
14. ?
The above list covers all the provinces that typically get a single minister. Of the bigger provinces:
- Alberta has two and is probably maxed out, given the lack of female MPs.
- British Columbia has three. It can probably expect at least four; Pamela Goldsmith-Jones and Carla Qualtrough probably being the most obvious choices.
- Quebec has four, including Trudeau himself. A few more can be expected -- probably at least one from outside the city of Montreal.
- Ontario has six, and can obviously expect more than that. Of the ones listed, five are from Toronto/the GTA, the only exception being Leslie, from Ottawa. Expect some to come from other parts of the province, which is likely a boon to people like Bardish Chagger (Waterloo), Maryam Monsef (Peterborough), and Patty Hadju (Thunder Bay).
The above list also omits oft-talked-about individuals like Adam Vaughan, Jim Carr and Bill Morneau. Showing that this is going to require some pretty tough cutting in all circumstances. Or he'll have to create a few more minister of state-type jobs and raise the number above the minimum (which, he can do; the Tories had 40 people in cabinet, they can't criticize).
Edited by Sean_C
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These decisions may be more important than who we chose for PM. Harper's management style was that he micro-managed every ministry. That was his style and he seemed happy with it as did the members of his party. So be it. So except for maybe Baird or Flaherty, Harper was making decisions on all those portfolios.

Trudeau has stated that he intends to give his chosen ministers a free reign on decision making and facilitating policy. If that is the case, many of these individuals will have to make a decision in many cases to do what is on paper as party policy or what they and their advisors feel is best for Canada.

When Harper first took power it took his government years to get rid of the Liberal minded bureaucrats that had been hired by the previous long Liberal governments. Now, many of these same positions are being held by Reform/Alliance minded bureaucrats hired by the Harper group. It will take time to make the support around each Minister to reflect Liberal views.

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I would like to see a Minister for Aborginal Affairs who is fluent in some of the languages relevant to that ministry. Has that ever happened? That would probably mean an aboriginal person which would be no harm either. Bad news comes better from your own and that person will be disappointing some people.

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Because you see somebody not as competent as you getting the job you want.

Sure. But they already knew going in that the cabinet was going to be 50:50. And they have already known that for decades other factors like geography were involved in the cabinet selection process.

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There are several issues I disagree fundamentally with JT on. The first is mandatory support of abortion. I support abortion but I think good candidates will be deterred because of this. The second is gender quotas. Like geographic representation, it is deeply anti-meritocratic. High talent is not that common and we should make the max use of it possible.

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Although I respect the intent of the gender parity, I equate it to affirmative action in the US. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The unindtended consequences can hurt.

Wouldn't it make more sense to choose approximately in ratio to the numbers elected, assuming the number of "stars" are proportional? Or just not worry about it and choose the best people?

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There are several issues I disagree fundamentally with JT on. The first is mandatory support of abortion. I support abortion but I think good candidates will be deterred because of this. The second is gender quotas. Like geographic representation, it is deeply anti-meritocratic. High talent is not that common and we should make the max use of it possible.

Sure, but there is a difference between someone speaking about party/government policies they don't like, and someone who chose to run for a party which has outlined their position. In the past I was asked to run for the NDP nomination in my riding, and twice I was asked to be the Green Party candidate in elections. Each time it surprised me, as I didn't have a membership in either party, but I was known in the community, I am a scientist, and I am left-wing environmentalist. So they felt I would be a good fit. I disagreed and turned all three down, in part, because of disagreements I have with their platforms. I was (and am) appalled by some of the anti-science positions they have taken (predominantly on nuclear and GMOs). If you are dissatisfied with one or more of their positions, and those specific positions are important to you, then I think that you shouldn't run.

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I would like to see a Minister for Aborginal Affairs who is fluent in some of the languages relevant to that ministry. Has that ever happened? That would probably mean an aboriginal person which would be no harm either. Bad news comes better from your own and that person will be disappointing some people.

I think it may not be desirable from precisely that reason. An aboriginal serving in that job (which a lot of people would say inherently has colonialist overtones to it, and if you've read the Indian Act, it would be hard to argue otherwise) would be in a very awkward spot. And as far as language fluency goes, there are so many aboriginal languages that being fluent in even one or two wouldn't mean all that much to most of the population.

Although I respect the intent of the gender parity, I equate it to affirmative action in the US.

Affirmative action has made an enormous impact on improving employment opportunity in the US, so that's by design.

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