Since Adam Radwanski didn't quite cover all the notes worth mentioning from the Cons' cabinet shuffle, here are a few more observations...
- The big news of the day was MacKay to Defence. But am I the only one who finds it the least bit surprising that Deceivin' Stephen's choice to try to clean up his party's political mess on Afghanistan is someone who's already contributed to the problem?
It seems beyond doubt that MacKay will find some way to run his mouth and make the Cons' public image on Afghanistan even worse. Which leaves only the question of which group will benefit more from MacKay's appointment: his House sparring partners (Dawn Black and Denis Coderre), or his riding challengers (Louise Lorefice and Elizabeth May).
- One of today's changes may help to signal just how much control is being exercised by the PMO rather than individual ministers. Industry goes from being run by one of the most rabid anti-government ideologues in Maxime Bernier, to a former Progressive Conservative in Jim Prentice - which would seemingly make for a strong chance of a far more moderate direction if the ministers have held any sway. But will anything actually change?
- Gordon O'Connor may have found himself shuffled into what seems to be the safest Cabinet position possible. But it's worth wondering whether the opposition parties find ways to keep holding his feet to the fire - if for no other purpose than to test what aside from a lack of political use (farewell to thee, Carol Skelton) is considered a removal-worthy offence for Harper.
- Speaking of Skelton, while I neglected to note it when she retired, her Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar seat figures to be another juicy target for the NDP in the next federal election - that is, if anybody notices she's gone.
- Finally, the Oda/Verner position swap may have been largely a matter of change for the sake of change. But I have to wonder if the switch is aimed in part at putting Heritage in the hands of a minister who's less susceptible to the (predominatly English-based) citizen media who managed to run Sarmite Bulte out of Parliament for her coziness with the entertainment industry, and figured to cause problems for Oda as well.