|Copyright Â© Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
|Wednesday February 8, 2006
Two astonishing cabinet appointments were among
Stephen Harper's first acts as prime minister Monday but
they may just be obscuring a far more interesting gambit.
Mr. Harper's 27-member cabinet marks another deliberate
step toward the pragmatic middle and away from the new
Conservative party's ideological roots, say a trio of experts.
All the hue and cry over floor-crossing Liberal David
Emerson and unelected, soon-to-be-senator Michael Fortier
vaulting straight onto the Tory front bench merely drives
home the point.
"This seems to be a clear nod toward quite a pragmatic,
centrist style of government," said Allan Tupper, a political
scientist at the University of British Columbia.
Put another way, the old grassroots Reform party is dead,
"This is the final transition away from Reform," said Faron
Ellis, a career Reform-Alliance-Conservative party
chronicler who teaches at Lethbridge Community College.
"And I don't say that critically."
Much will be made over the next few days about some of
Mr. Harper's cabinet selections, not just Mr. Fortier and
|Harper's cabinet a move to the centre
|Other cartoons of interest