Requisite cabinet shuffle speculation - Macleans.ca

Requisite cabinet shuffle speculation

Aaron Wherry gets the potential scoop on this summer’s shuffle (maybe)

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Here is everything you need to know ahead of this summer’s possible cabinet shuffle.

Peter MacKay might leave politics though he probably won’t, in which case he will be moved out of defence, unless he isn’t. Jim Flaherty will stay at finance, unless he doesn’t. Vic Toews is going to retire, unless he doesn’t, though, when you think about it, we all retire at some point.

Possibly a number of prominent ministers are in line for a promotion, unless they aren’t. Obviously some ministers are in line for demotions or new portfolios, unless they end up staying where they are. A number of backbenchers and parliamentary secretaries are rising stars because they have not yet embarrassed themselves in public too obviously and could be moved into cabinet, unless the Prime Minister feels otherwise. It is generally believed that the Prime Minister must make one particular move, but maybe he doesn’t believe that. The ability of an individual to stand in Question Period and recite his or her lines and fend off opposition attacks is of paramount importance, except insofar as it maybe doesn’t really demonstrate much of anything that might indicate how ministers are chosen. Unless it does.

The Prime Minister will announce the shuffle in early, mid or late July, or early, mid or late August or maybe September or sometime thereafter. The new cabinet will be meant to convey stability or change or strength or some combination thereof. It will be important for both some obvious reasons and some implicit messages conveyed, but it will also not be that important because it doesn’t really matter because the Prime Minister makes all the decisions anyway, unless that is an overly simplistic understanding of how this government operates.

Also, of course, there will be implications for a future Conservative leadership race that might not happen for at least another two years, unless the Prime Minister retires this summer (or next year?), though he probably won’t, even though he certainly could, because, ultimately, almost nothing is entirely inconceivable.