Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My thoughts on the new Liberal line-up

I like it, but I don't like it a lot.

There are quite a few good moves, to be sure: Brison as Finance critic is a fantastic role for the young, ambitious, former PC who jumped ship when the likes of his now-rival Flaherty signed up; Goodale as Deputy Leader and de-facto talking head when Iggy isn't around is an excellent move, as someone with Goodale's gravitas and, to put it simply, his geographic location (here) is sure to keep the Conservatives on their toes a little; and David McGuinty as House Leader is a good, solid choice, in my opinion.

However, there are some things I question. In fact, there are some things I just don't understand:

- Dennis Coderre is back in the critic line-up after a year's hiatus after his involvement in the Cauchon affair, and you know what, that's A-OK with me. I'm sure he's either redeemed himself, or he's given enough reasons to get a second chance. But, Coderre used to be a Cabinet member with files ranging from Immigration to La Francophonie. We couldn't give him something better than Natural Resources?

- Justin Trudeau is a cool guy, and a good face for the Liberals, which is why I'm glad he's stayed as the Youth critic. But, I dunno - Immigration? At a time when we need a big push on the Immigration front to combat Jason Kenney, is the inexperienced Trudeau really a good pick?

- Gerrard Kennedy in Environment - I just don't see it. The guy helped bring about a major change in Ontario's education system and knows his stuff. Putting him in Environment, while he may bring new ideas, seems almost a waste of his talents. I know education isn't a federal responsibility, but with Iggy's talk about education as the best way to get Canadians moving again, there was nothing we could do with that? Can't we get Stephane Dion back in somehow?

- Kirsty Duncan in Veteran's Affairs? Really? That doesn't make any sense. None whatsoever.

And what about the people left out? Ruby Dhalla has some issues still, so her being left out is understandable. But where's Ken Dryden, who would be a loud and noticeable voice for social development in Canada, something lacking in priority for the Conservative government? And what about Massimo Pacetti? He's been in the Party since 2002, with a good wealth of experience in business and local government, and he's been left out again. What about Keith Martin, too?

Otherwise, the rest of the choices made - including shuffling Marlene Jennings to Justice and Irwin Cotler to Justice, as well as Carolyn Bennett from Health to Democratic Renewal, and Ujjal Dosanjh from Defense to Health, with Dominic LeBlanc taking over his job - are good, and I have no strong opinions about. But not all of them seem to make a lot of sense, and we have to realize, this will be the basic line-up for cabinet selection if we win next election.

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