Being a Conservative MP from Quebec is a bit like joining the mother of all affirmative action programs. We have a grand total of five MPs in a province that represents roughly a quarter of the country’s population. Translation: cabinet positions for all! Even Max Bernier, whose I-forgot-a-bunch-of-secret-documents-at-my-somewhat-dodgy-girlfriend’s-house debacle relegated him to backbench purgatory in 2008, got a nod. (Granted, “Junior Minister For Tourism and Small Business” doesn’t have quite the ring as “Foreign Affairs Minister”, but still…) It’s a nice bit of spin for the Conservatives: 80 per cent of Quebec Tories are sitting at the table. Even those who lost their freakin’ election got a piece of the pie: Larry Smith and Josée Verner will now graze at the lush Senate pastures for their efforts.
Weep, then, for poor Jacques Gourde. Not only does he get left out of cabinet, he actually has less power for winning the election than Smith and Verner do for losing.