Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Yes, Minister?

Linda Duncan practically guaranteed cabinet position in Coalition government

If what seems like it could very well be inevitable comes to pass next week, Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan will almost certainly be one of the NDP MPs claiming at least 1/4 of the cabinet positions in that government.

As the only non-Tory MP from Alberta, Duncan's appointment is necessary to create an illusion of regional parity in cabinet.

Which portfolio Duncan will acquire, however, is still a matter of question.

As a widely-renowned environmental lawyer and former Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environment, Duncan would make for a natural Environment Minister. However, this may not happen.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May seems set to join the Senate. Speculation suggests that May could be granted a cabinet post as well -- and May indisputably has her heart set on being Minister of the Environment.

Aside from this, Dion may also appoint another Liberal Senator -- possibly Grant Mitchell -- to his cabinet.

Which wouldn't do any wonders for the already-tenuous legitimacy of any coalition government. The involvement of a party pledged to separate Quebec from Canada is clearly the most serious issue clouding the legitimacy of such a coalition. If Dion is forced to appoint an unusual number of Senators to cabinet -- he will also need to figure out a way to bolster his cabinet numbers from Saskatchewan -- serious doubts will be cast on the accountability of his government.

Not that there aren't such doubts already.

Other bloggers writing on this topic:

Terahertz - "Linda Duncan's Debut"

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