Monday, January 18, 2010

Stephen Harper's Top Ten Cabinet Duds

So, apparently Stephen Harper is going to shuffle his cabinet tomorrow. And hopefully apologize to New Zealand on Greg Thompson's behalf, before they cut off our sheep supply.

And by the by, I'm willing to fly business/first class to New Zealand and can be at Rideau Hall for the morning, if anyone at the PMO is reading this. If you fly me Air Canada, you can even book it in economy and I'll use a certificate to upgrade. See, I'm saving the taxpayers money already!

And if the PMO is reading, hopefully the reports that tomorrow’s minor cabinet shuffle will reward incompetence by retaining ministers who have failed miserably in their portfolios are untrue. But alas, Stephen Harper seems content to keep a tight rein on the Conservative agenda and stick to a course that lacks any vision for Canada’s future.

If Harper was willing to start clearing out the deadwood however, here are ten ministers he'd be well advised to shuffle off into the sunset:

1. Lisa Raitt

Her greatest hits: Botching Canada’s medical isotope supply; her insensitive “cancer is sexy” comment caught on tape; leaving a top secret briefing binder at a TV station and then forcing her young ministerial aide to take the fall for it; signing off on thousands of dollars of questionable expenses as President and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority (TPA) and then, once in federal cabinet, organizing a partisan fundraiser out of the TPA offices. She now faces no less than three investigations – by the Ethics, Privacy and Lobbying Commissioners.

2. Peter Mackay

Ever since becoming a reality TV star, Mr. Mackay’s ratings have plummeted – first for attacking sympathetic civil servants who speak the truth, and then for using the Canadian Forces as a shield for all political criticism.

3-5. Jim Flaherty
Tony Clement
and John Baird

In a move that should terrify investors, Mr. Harper is leaving his Harris-era cohort of front-bench ministers intact.

John Baird has little more to show for his infrastructure spending spree than delayed projects and underwhelming job creation.

Jim Flaherty is responsible for a record $56 billion deficit.

And Tony Clement shrunk his side of the balance sheet after giving away Nortel’s made-in-Canada technology.

Mike Harris would no doubt be proud of what his children hath wrought.

6. Jim Prentice

The onetime cabinet superstar has lost all independent willpower. Charged with the impossible task of trying to communicate the government’s excuses for inaction on the environment, he became the laughing stock of the world in Copenhagen.

7. Gerry Ritz

Combining his cavalier attitude with a dangerous mismanagement style, Minister Ritz felt it was funny to make jokes while Canadians were dying of listeriosis.

8. Jay Hill

Conservative MPs use Mr. Hill’s Parliamentary "disruption" manual as a guide on how to dismantle important committee work. Mr. Hill’s Afghanistan committee no-show technique wasn’t even good enough for Mr. Harper, who took it a step further and canceled Parliament altogether.

9. Helena Guergis

After nearly two years of promising an ‘Action Plan’ to advance women’s equality, we wish that Minister Guergis had achieved nothing. Instead, she has stood silently in the background while her cabinet colleagues chipped away at women’s equality rights – whether through cuts at Status of Women, the cancellation of the Court Challenges Program or attacks on pay equity – leading to a growing gender gap under her government.

10. Stephen Harper

Our Prime Minister has shuttered our dearest democratic institution for the second time in a year so he can stage daily Potemkin village photo ops. He followed up his tirades against delayed government legislation by killing 36 of his own bills, and blew up his Senate reform agenda by appointing more cronies in one year than any Prime Minister in history.

But if Stephen is shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic, perhaps it would be best if the captain went down with the ship...

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MississaugaPeter said...

Jeff, is that Super Elite?

CanadianSense said...

Jeff, Are you going to help Rocco Rossi or do you have another candidate you are supporting?

Interesting post. Not sure how if voters sent two more CPC in November 2009 this one makes any sense.

Unknown said...

Nicely done. Couldn't agree more.

Jeff said...

Peter, I'm sure all cabins would have to be super elite. Unless they're really burning-out the Challenger.

CS, I'm not currently supporting any of the mayoral candidates, haven't approached any campaigns or been approached. Nothing I've heard from any of the candidates, presumptive or otherwise, has really grabbed me so far. I do want to write a post on what I'm looking for from an agenda for the city pov, if I ever get around to it.

Are you in Toronto? Any mayoral favourite?