There is a very, very useful article in iPolitics that I, for one, will keep for reference because it shows just how disorganized the Trudeau regime is. When I mentioned, a couple of days ago, the large number of obviously “third-tier” cabinet posts I was guessing that these were really just “associate ministers” or even “ministers without portfolios” who are put in cabinet for purely partisan reasons ~ like Seamus O’Reagan who is, apparently, a very close personal friend of the prime minister and is also a token for another of the “communities” that the Trudeau Liberal Pary values over Canada, the nation ~ in contrast to, say, the Manley Liberals.
The worst bit of what I need to call misorganization is that the Department of Canadian Heritage (which ought never to have been allowed to exist after 1931* but was a convenient place to put someone who was, essentially, a “minister without portfolio,” but who could answer for the small budget allocations used for e.g. major national public events, like royal visits and the increasingly political, after 1967, Canada Day ceremonies) now has two ministers: the incredibly inept Ahmed Hussen, who remains in need of serious anger management counselling, is joined by the even worse Bardish Chaggar who is the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth. Two ministers in what is, essentially a useless portfolio that, in the 42nd Parliament couldn’t even manage to operate an outdoor skating rink in Ottawa in the winter ~ that’s the political equivalent of not being able to organize a few drinks in a bar with an unlimited credit card. Now, of course, Ms Chaggar was the Government House Leader in the previous government but now, in a minority situation, the Liberals need a functioning adult in that position, because life for a minority government is actually complicated and the government needs the cooperation of the other parties, so Pablo Rodriguez has been moved to that role, but Ms Chaggar who, like Mr Hussen represents a “community” needs to be kept in cabinet. In fact, some of the more important roles in the Trudeau minority will be outside of the cabinet: good committee chairs and so on will matter hugely when the Liberals do not have a majority.
The cabinet is, with a few exceptions, a lacklustre affair, and it confirms my suspicion that Justin Trudeau is following in his father’s footsteps. Pierre Trudeau did not, I believe, understand the nuances of a Westminster style parliamentary government; he, and his governance guru, the late Senator Michael Pitfield, much preferred the Franco-American notions of executive government. In most cases, in this new Trudeau government, cabinet ministers are just ‘virtue signals’ to regional and ethnic and other “communities.” Only a few ministers actually answer in the House of Commons for a whole department, as they should.
This latest cabinet goes a long way to achieving Pierre Trudeau’s dream of replacing the responsible, parliamentary and democratic government we have in Canada now with a representative model with which Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump and even Xi Jinping would be more comfortable.
* The post of Secretary of State was important until 1931 (the Statutes if Westminster) because the Secretary was responsible for liaison with Westminster on behalf of the Dominion government. After 1931 it became very much a third-tier portfolio.