Friday, February 16, 2007
That cabinet shuffle
Many people, including myself, focused on the appointment of John Baird as environment minister during the cabinet shuffle of a few weeks ago. For all intents and purposes, that move worked. Baird has been skillful at taking every opportunity to remind people of the Stéphane Dion record on the environment. So much so, that many political observers believe that Dion's so-called best issue has been pretty much taken away from him.
However, an appointment that has gone less noticed as a result of that cabinet shuffle, but may prove just as important, is that of Bob Nicholson to the portfolio of justice.
Not only is it becoming clear that the Tory government will be using law-and-order as a signature issue in any upcoming election campaign, it's also becoming clear that Prime Minister Harper believes that Bob Nicholson is the man to drive home that message more effectively than his predecessor, Vic Toews.
It's not that Toews was a bad minister. In fact, he has laid all the groundwork for the Tories on the file thus far. It's that Toews is an easy target for the ideological left. Nicholson has two things going for him. He's not seen as ideological. He's also shown that he's a pretty good spokesman for the cause.
Should be interesting.