REALITY CHECK: Shuffling the deck can’t hide the fact the B.C. Liberals have no cards to play

Posted in:

The B.C. Liberals may be trying to use today’s cabinet shuffle to cool down the public anger that has reached a fevered pitch since they broke their word and brought in the HST. But new names on ministerial doors won’t change the fact that the B.C. Liberals are out of ideas and have lost the trust of British Columbians.

As the B.C. Liberals try in vain to change the channel, the cabinet shuffle raises some anticipatory questions:

  • What’s super about this ministry? Rumours are afoot that the government will announce some sort of ‘super’ ministry, apparently to handle a host of responsibilities. Given this government’s record and priorities, the most likely candidates are:

-Ministry of New Rationales for the HST
-Ministry of Innovative Ways for Saying ‘It’s Before the Courts’
-Ministry of Justifying Broken Promises.

  • Is this the government’s attempt at being green? Firing those ministers who haven’t done anything would probably mean an entirely new cabinet, but the premier will likely just recycle ineffective ministers into other portfolios. One wonders if he will officially rename the public safety portfolio – with six changes in the past five years – as the Ministry of the Revolving Door.
  • Is that the sound of the bottom of the barrel being scraped? Will one of those three-term MLAs finally get a job on the front lines or should the likes of John Rustad, Richard T. Lee, Dave Hayer and Ralph Sultan put down permanent, physical roots in the back benches?
  • What does it take to get booted out of a B.C. Liberal cabinet? If insulting stakeholders was a firing offence, Bill Bennett would not be in cabinet. But what about arrogantly dismissing the legitimate concerns of First Nations, like Randy Hawes, or accidentally letting it slip that the HST isn’t so great for tourism after all, like Kevin Krueger?
  • Will the House Leader’s job include booking TV air time? Since the B.C. Liberals prefer talking on TV to actually convening the legislature, will the premier formalize that by giving the House Leader an advertising budget?
  • When will the shuffler get shuffled? At what point will the premier shuffle himself out of his own cabinet?