Tuesday, December 02, 2008

On destinations

I'd planned to following up my review of possible NDP cabinet ministers with a more detailed look at the most likely positions, but Wheatsheaf has already thoroughly analyzed the possibilities and risks coming from most of the positions. That said, I'll take a minute to point out a couple of the more subtle issues which may fit into portfolios which the NDP could pursue.

I agree entirely that Industry should be a natural fit for an NDP seat at the table. But in addition to the obvious role in working with the NDP's manufacturing base, the position would provide an ideal opportunity to deal with Net neutrality and intellectual property, two issues which may not attract the mainstream attention they deserve but could have a substantial impact on how Canada's creative class is able to function.

Similarly, the NDP should be looking to ensure that one of its MPs picks up whatever portfolio includes the issue of democratic reform. Since the cabinet will be pared down that doesn't look to be kept as a stand-alone position - but it could relatively easily be packaged as part of a number of different roles (Citizenship and Immigration? Justice? Intergovernmental Affairs?). And with Layton already discussing how the coalition may serve as a first example of the type of government Canadians could expect under a PR system, it would be a huge plus to be able to build on that starting point with an NDP hand guiding the process.

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