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|I Am Skooter|
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Paul Martin has named his new cabinet, and in an entirely predictable move failed (once again) to reduce the size of cabinet itself.
He has reduced some things though: there are only 9 women in this cabinet, or about 25%. This is 2 fewer cabinet posts held by women than before. One of those gone is Hedy Fry (demoted to a Parliamentary Secretary), although this has barely raised a blip on the national media scale when compared to the attention paid to David Anderson’s complete dismissal.
B.C. is well represented by numbers (5) but perhaps not by talent: new ministers abound here, led by Ujjal Dosanjh and David Emerson. Emerson - my opponent in Vancouver Kingsway - is now the Minister of Industry, and while I’m concerned about such a critical portfolio being handed to a first time Minister, this is probably a good place for him. Emerson’s rampant drive for privatization makes him - in my opinion - poorly suited to be Finance minister but he should be in a place which allows him to put his talents to work improving the economy overall. Of course, Stelco just closed a rod mill in Hamilton and laid of 160 people, providing yet another example of exactly how much work there is to do here.
As for Ujjal - really, BC’s health care system is in such good shape this smacks of brilliance.
Sorry. Sarcasm doesn’t always work well here. At least he’ll fight against further privatization of the system, which is a generally admirable goal.
Mr. Martin has, meanwhile, announced that he’s going to reintroduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana. This is going to be very interesting. Leaving aside the obvious question of why the Martin government scuttled the thing in the first place (Anne Macllelan anyone?) the Liberals current minority status creates a conundrum. If this doesn’t pass, the Conservatives are going to look an awful lot like neo-Conservatives who want to restrict what the people of Canada can do and the Liberals are going to have a very easy time painting this picture in about 18 months. If the bill passes, with Conservative support, there’s a very real risk of alienating a key support base.
Aren’t minority governments fun? I can’t help but wonder how Mr. Harper is going to navigate this one, particularly given the party’s commitment to increasing the number of free votes in Parliament.