Stephen Harper’s Top 5


La Presse discovers that the current order of succession should the Prime Minister be unable to fulfill his duties is as follows: Lawrence Cannon, Jim Prentice, Chuck Strahl, Peter MacKay, Stockwell Day.

Two years ago, when Kady looked at the list as it was then, the order of succession went Cannon, Prentice, Rob Nicholson, David Emerson, Jean-Pierre Blackburn.


Stephen Harper’s Top 5

  1. The list from two years ago included the entire cabinet. For the new list, did somebody go through all 11 ministers of state and rank them? Who is more important, the Minister of State for Democratic Reform or the Minister of State for Sport?

  2. Shows the pitiable lack of depth that Harper has in his team.
    Cannon only looks less of an intellectual lightweight because his predecessor was such a vacuous fool…anyway – it is clear – when he even thinks about issues outside Canada – Harper is his own Foreign Affairs minister.
    Prentice hasn't fumbled a ball yet – although how much longer he can go on stalling and juggling the Climate change / Tar Sands issues without making a decision is questionable – without losing total credibility.
    Strahl is just a Reform Ideologue – he was a disaster in Agriculture – appears to be carrying a jerrycan of kerosine in the INAC portfolio…and generally should be kept away from all sharp objects…

    • Those who like decisive and pro-active leadership would like Stahl, or Kenney, or Prentice, or Cannon, but if you were a Wishy Washy Wascally Wabbit, then you would like a Brison, or a Dryden, or a Kennedy, or a Rae.

      • at least Brison, Dryden, Kennedy and Rae finished school. Can't say that about Day or Kenney.

    • You're not Wishy Washy, you're thoughtful and contemplative.

  3. Willie – you've been relatively quiet recently – but you are right – if the mission was to dismantle government – any of those slash and burners would do the job!
    However – I don't think the canadian public gave Mr. Harper and his gang that mandate!

    • Why is it hard for people on the left to realise that people don't like being taxed for grandiose government?

      Larger government is not a panacea for all perceived social problems.

      • Just to clarify:
        – is government a panacea for anything?
        – does government have any role?
        – is there a panacea for any/all social problems?
        Again, I sort of get what you don't want, but just wondering what your ideal role for government would look like.

      • I'd modify that by making it "some people". My next door neighbour says he can live with it.

      • I'd modify that by making it "some people". My next door neighbour says he can live with it.

        That's my neighbour to the left.

      • Blind cutbacks and fear of government isnt a pancacea for all social problems either Jon. Doing something is better than doing nothing.

  4. What?

    No Kenny?

    No Baird?

    No Flaherty?

    No Ambrose (or any female, for that matter)?

    And no Poilevre?

    Shocking, I'd say.

  5. We're doomed.

  6. Outside of Strahl, thats a very scary group of people left to run the country.

    • Why wouldn't you rate Prentice or MacKay equivalent to Strahl?

    • Yeah, what's so scary about Prentice and MacKay?

      • Prentice is incompetent – please see his previous portfolio and work on copyright reform; never mind what's going on with his current responsibilities. MacKay equally so; didn't he have to borrow a dog for a sympathy photo-op?

        Seriously: I see them both as image conscious, substance absent.

        Please disabuse me of this impression at your leisure.

      • Do you think Mackay would hold his concession speech in a potato patch if he lost? With a rental dog?

  7. Cannon definitely has potential and Chuck I always vote for any politician to break with tradition and keep his beard as I am by nature a contrarian (which is why I do so well with investments especially this last year as I have been making oodles of money of late) but Peter is still my odds on favorite and has really shown sleadership qualities the last while though I must admit that Stoc has really surprised and has grown tremendosuly (who would have thought) if I become a delegate again Peter will more than likely get my vote but I don't want to commit before the convention which should be in about 2- 3 to 4 years maybe after the next win in the spring

    • Man that is one meandering run on sentence. Could someone please translate?

  8. Pretty near to how I'd rate the competence of our cabinet members, although McKay… well, I have to pledge allegiance to him as head of the CF, so I'll keep my mouth shut.

  9. I think I speak for everyone when I wish the Prime Minister the very best of health.

    • LOL.

  10. There seems to be a pretty fundamental misunderstanding as it relates to this list. There is no order of succession in Canada, like there is in the United States. Should the PM die, resign or become incapacitated, there is absolutely no guarantee that these people, in this order, would be his successors. Even if there was a Deputy PM, there is nothing in law or in practice that provides for that person to become PM automatically, the way the US Vice-President becomes President.
    This list provides for Acting Ministers for statutory purposes, which means people who can do things that the PM is required to do by law, usually routine administrative things. If the PM died or became incapacitated, the Governor General has to find a new PM, in consultation with the members of the governing party. It could be Cannon or somebody else entirely.

    • "It could be Cannon or somebody else entirely. "

      Shatner for PM!

  11. What is new in this most recent list is that Harper has decided to add the Chairs of the other Cabinet Committees after Prentice and before Nicholson. Again, with the exception of Cannon and Prentice, they are listed according to their precedence (date of their first election in this case, as they were all first appointed to Cabinet in 2006). Strahl is the Chair of the Social Affairs Committee, MacKay is the Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Day is the Chair of the Special Cabinet Committee on Afghanistan. The next names on the list are Vic Toews, Chair of the Treasury Board, John Baird, Chair of the Environment and Energy Security Committee and Tony Clement, Chair of the Economic Affairs Committee. While it is a slight departure from the previous practice, I'd caution against reading too much into it.
    You can find the whole list here:

    • Not sure about the others, but I wasn't reading much into it at all; it seemed to serve as a nice conversation starter.

      And on that point, I'll just add that I would actually prefer to post comments to a service called politeconversation, but so far intensedebate is the best (only) service I have come across.

  12. Each Cabinet Minister has two other Ministers designated to act for them in the event that they are unavailable or incapacitated. Usually, it is their predecessor in the portfolio or a Minister from the same Department or a similar policy area. This is only in relation to their statutory responsibilities. Ministers who do not have specific statutory duties, such as the Leader of the Government in the Senate or Ministers of State, don't have designated acting Ministers because they do not require them.
    The list for the PM has traditionally had the Deputy PM first, followed by all other Ministers in accordance with the order of precedence (the date they were appointed to Cabinet, and if appointed the same day, the date they were first elected or appointed to Parliament). This is why the old list in Kady's post had Nicholson, Emerson, Blackburn, Thompson, LeBreton. It's not because they are better liked or more trusted; it's just that they're higher in the order of precedence. As Harper doesn't have a Deputy PM, he has placed Cannon and Prentice at the top of his list, as the Chairs of the two most prominent Cabinet Committees (Planning and Priorities and Operations, respectively).