With the departure of Maxime Bernier, Cabinet Draft 2008 appears to be getting underway. Prognosticators are busy speculating on who will fill which seats, and even whether any seats other than Bernier’s are up for grabs. (Google News result 2 for the query ‘harper cabinet shuffle’: “Bernier affair unlikely to prompt major cabinet shuffle, source says”*Translation: Harper’s office wishes to quell speculation, but isn’t willing to commit strongly enough to a small shuffle to say on the record that that’s what it will do. In the absence of a Daily Show up here, someone really needs to start a blog to sift through all the “unsourced” crap that is clearly coming from the PMO.; result 3: “Major cabinet shuffle expected in coming weeks.”)
Alongside this speculation has come a rash of banal tsk-tsking to the effect that Maxime Bernier’s departure illustrates why Cabinet posts should emphasize talent over regional concerns. This wisdom has emanated from The National’s At Issue panel,*Whose video podcast I am addicted to. Why must you tease me so with your sensibly furrowed brow, Andrew Coyne?*Also worth two minutes of every day: The Hour‘s Cold Openings. the Globe and Mail’s editorial pages, and practically everyone capable of formulating a reasonably intelligent opinion on politics.*Everyone who fits this description, step forward. Not so fast, robotic vacuum cleaner! (Sadly, nothing yet from Maclean’s generally excellent Blog Central.*Which, near as I can tell, operates as a sort of potlatch economy, granting bloggers status only if they lead with a gift of praise for a fellow Maclean’s writer.*Not so over here. FYI, Christopher Flavelle (walrusmagazine.com‘s Bright Lights blogger) still thinks practical jokes involving laser pointers are funny, and Jared Bland (The Shelf) cheats at beach volleyball. You should only read their blogs if the rest of the Internet is down.)
Clearly, none of these people watch enough sports. Or if they do, they aren’t giving them enough thought. I’m talking levels of thought that, properly applied, could resolve questions that have plagued human existence for centuries.*Such as: Why are we here? And: Why are we really here? And: Who do I have to kill to find out why we’re really here? And: What do you mean by yourself? Fortunately, my friends and I are up to the task. We’ve argued out the talent vs. regional representation thing many times before, in the form of the age-old debate between the Best Player Available (BPA) and Fill A Need (FAN) theories of drafting for major league sports teams. This argument predates politics, going right back to the dawn of human life, when God had to decide between creating Adam or a left-handed pitcher with great upside from Bayonne, New Jersey.*His choice is only the first of many reasons why Darwin eventually turfed Him.