Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cabinet Building

A couple of weeks ago I gave my broad prediction of the election results that occurred on May 2nd. To accompany my seat predictions I did a riding projection for all 308 ridings in Canada. Yes, I sat down a predicted all 308 ridings. Yes, I am a terrible, terrible politics nerd.

I correctly predicted the winner of 224 seats, which is a prediction rate of about 72.4%, I got 84 incorrect. Most of these misses came out of the growth of the NDP explosion in Quebec. I did not expect the Liberals, Conservatives and Bloc to collapse so totally to the orange crush. The disintegration of the Liberals in Ontario also hurt my prediction. If you exclude Quebec my numbers are probably more in the 85+% range.

It’s not my best prediction to date, but it’s not terrible either, in my opinion.

Tomorrow morning Stephen Harper will announce his new cabinet. I cannot talk about something that hasn’t happened yet but I wish to raise a concern about the cabinet process in Canada. Canada has the largest cabinet. Canada does not have a government with any greater needs than Britain, France or the United States. We have a large number of ministers to meet regional needs of our politics.

Most of our ministers are not selected because of great competencies in their area of responsibility. No, they are chosen because they are from a particular group or region. The Conservatives only have five members from the province of Quebec. Even though many of them don’t deserve to be in cabinet as many as three will probably be in cabinet so the province may be represented. The one PEI MP for the Conservatives will be in cabinet, for sure.

Regional balance, gender balance and ethnicity should not be considerations for building a cabinet. I understand why it is, we’re a very regional nation, and the cabinet is used to try to represent the whole of the country. I would much prefer fifteen competent, capable ministers from one province than lightweights for token representation of various provinces and groups.

No comments: