Monday, February 06, 2006

Stephen Harper sworn in as Canada's 22nd PM

According to Stephen Harper was officially sworn in as Canada's 22nd prime minister at a ceremony in Rideau Hall Monday morning, two weeks after he led his Conservative Party to a minority victory over Paul Martin's Liberals.

Clutching his personal Bible, Harper was sworn in by Alex Himelfarb, clerk of the Privy Council, and was presided over by Governor General Michaelle Jean as he took the oath of office.

After keeping news of his cabinet a closely guarded secret, Harper has named a 26-member cabinet (which includes six women) streamlined from Martin's 37.

The most surprising news was the appointment of David Emerson as minister of international trade. Emerson, former industry minister under Paul Martin's Liberal government, crossed the floor to join the Tory cabinet. Interesting, Harper must have pulled out a convincing move for Emerson to do that. He may not be too popular with his constituants who voted in a Liberal MP. Good for the Conservatives though.

Emerson, an MP for the B.C. riding of Vancouver Kingsway, was considered a leadership candidate for the Liberals. He took a prominent role on the issue of softwood lumber in the last government. His acquisition gives the Tory party its only MP in one of the country's major cities.

Emerson received a loud ovation after he swore his oath on Monday morning.
"It is a big score for us, no doubt about it," Tory strategist Tim Powers told CTV. He played down the ethical implications raised by Emerson's party switch, despite the fact that Harper harshly criticized Belinda Stronach when she deserted his party for the Liberals.

As expected, Harper has dropped the post of deputy prime minister. His cabinet includes 10 members from Western Canada, nine from Ontario, one from Manitoba and three from the Maritimes. There is no cabinet member from P.E.I. since no Conservative MPs were elected in that province.

It is interesting to see that there is no Deputy PM, something that I have not heard of before. I guess that Stephen Harper is trying to make changes. Maybe the Deputy could be a threat to his position, so he dropped it.

Good luck Stephen Harper.


redwingedblackbird said...

i hope it's a quick stint with the conservatives. they scare me. oh, they scare me.

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

Harper hubris, or Does Harper have a tin ear?

The conventional wisdom now seems to be that Stephen Harper is a political genius, of the same ilk as Napoleon, or Churchill, or – pick your favourite. But what if Harper’s cabinet-making is not a politically astute move by at all, but simply a sign that he has a political tin ear?

After all, sometimes the past is predicator of the future: in 2004 he misread the electorate with some of his comments about the Liberals – especially Martin – and his premature triumph speeches about the West taking over. And in Parliament he has sounded a bit screechy and overly self-righteous. Then there are those stories about him being a one-man-band, who does not need a mentor because, one observer says he said, he never met anyone as smart as he is ....

So, perhaps this was just Harper being Harper, and marching to his own discordant band?

If so, wait until the second Act: gonna be a lot of fun for Libs and NDP, and a lot of buyer’s remorse by many voters in Ontario ....

And meanwhile, the Bloc will crouch in the wings, nursing its wounds, and waiting for the right time to take Harper down – when he is under a cloud of intolerance or stupidity, but before he cements himself into Quebec as Mulroney Junior. Best get rid of him soon, before he becomes a real threat to the Bloc ...

So wait for the right moment, and the ganging up by the three parties who each have good reasons for taking him out of his new digs at Sussex, and who – between them – hold the balance of power.

After all, Harper arranged a mob-lynching of Martin with all three parties deciding to put in the knife on that particular Ides of May. Having shown the way, I wonder if Harper fears that this time the other three parties will cooperate to bring him down?

Better than even chance, I think; and probably before summer ends, too.....

Maybe Harper should let those renovations take place at Sussex Drive before he moves in: might save him having to move twice, eh?

Rob Good said...

I think that it is not a good thing for Canada when there is an election every 2 years or less. It show that there is some unstability. I would like the tthink that after 13 years of Liberal mayhem that the people and political parties of Canada will continue to work for their constituients as well as working with the Conservatives and Stephen Harper. He looks like he has the ability to get things done, and if he follows through with his promises and strengthens Canada up then it will be a good thing for Canada and Canadians.