Sunday, August 12, 2007

Harper's Top Minister?

With a cabinet shuffle looming, I thought it might be a good idea to take stock of Ministerial performance to date. Who is the best of the worst, the least incompetent, the fern in the desert? If you HAD to choose, who gets the nod?

On the question of who has performed best in their portfolio, I would have to pick Stockwell Day. I've actually been surprised at Day's ability to convey an air of normalcy, as though a rational human being. Maybe it was the low expectations, but Day has showed some ability to navigate potential landmines, and his cool demeanor has served him well.

Day's performance has apparently garnered him some respect within media circles. Agree or disagree, Day answers questions in a measured way and appears to have a good handle on the issues within his jurisdiction. For the most part, Day appears to be "on top of things"(glaringly obvious example excluded).

I would classify his performance as a marked comeback, because Day was largely written off as a fringe player, well past his best-before date. Day now looks like a intregal part of the governments team, who seems to enjoy a degree of independence we rarely see in Harper's tight, controlling style. You could almost go so far as to say Day has emerged as an attractive asset for this government, a thought once unthinkable, given the past.

Partisanship aside, political stances omitted, in terms of performance, I would pick Stockwell Day, in the spirit of relativity.

UPDATE Mushroom grades the lemon factory.


Jeff said...

While Day has stayed out of trouble to date, reading the news this week I have to wonder if his role in the censoring of the Arar report documents will begin to put some tarnish on his newly sterling rep... Particularly with William Elliot's involvement too.

Time will tell, as will how much of an issue the media/opposition decide to make of it. But given the PMO's comments on this last week (Harper didn't know, you should ask Stock) the seeds are there.

Steve V said...

Jeff, you're right, we haven't seen all the fallout yet.

Monkey Loves to Fight said...

I must say I have been surprised myself at how Day has managed to stay out of trouble. When a cabinet minister of Ralph Klein in the 90s and the Canadian Alliance leader, he always was sticking his foot in his mouth.

I would also put Jim Prentice as my top pick since he seems to be reasonably trusted by Harper and has actually been well trusted by those elsewhere. He is sort of an odd one in Harper's inner circle as he is really the only former Progressive Conservative that is part of Harper's inner circle.

Steve V said...

"he always was sticking his foot in his mouth."

Maybe that is why the bar was set low for Day, making it easier to look successful. Prentice is a good choice too.

Anonymous said...

Day? I don't think so. The Arar case, the RCMP committee hearings -plus there is just something creepy about the guy. He's very, shall we say, unmanly and says some strange things like the article he wrote in the Pendiction paper about admiring another man's body when he was working out. The choice of a conservative partisan and bureaucrat who aided in blacking out documents is questionable to me as well.

I think the big mistake the party made was electing Harper as their leader instead of Jim Prentice.

Just my opinion for what it's worth.

A Eliz. said...

I think that Day is very secretive, and believes that the earth only 6ooo years old..I do know if he would go so far to say it is flat, though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the plug, Steve.

If you look at my gradings, Stock is above average in an average Cabinet. That he looked good when O'Connor is in meltdown mode and MacKay looked clueless shows how weak Harper's front bench is.

Anonymous said...

If Doris does indeed have credibility with voters in Canada, this country truly is screwed.

Anonymous said...

Harper is so controlling that Day can't do or say much without premission from the Pillsbury Doughboy himself. Doughboy likes to undercut his cabinet by not letting them talk to the media and vetting their speeches. Cabinet is therefore a bunch of harem eunuchs.

Harper won't give day another cabinet posting since Alberta is over-represented. Only thing for Day would be a secretary of state or the back benches.