Editorial: Political cabinet-making is an art

Geography, as well as ability, has to be taken into account when a premier puts together her cabinet.

When it comes to cabinet-making—the political kind—geography often plays a bigger role than ability.

While the latter can work in favour of a backbench MLA looking to move to the front benches in the Legislature, the former can sometimes prove to be a deterrent.

That appears to be what happened to Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick.

Dropped from cabinet Monday, Letnick likely didn’t do anything wrong, he just represents a riding that not only sits too close to another cabinet minister’s riding—Steve Thomson’s Kelowna-Mission—if everything goes according to plan for the B.C. Liberals, also to Westside-Kelowna, which his boss, Premier Christy Clark, plans to call her own.

Yes, the Central Okanagan had all three of its MLAs in the last Liberal cabinet but that was more a move born of desperation than relaxed panning.

In her last government,Clark was faced with the prospect of many veteran cabinet ministers calling it quits and she had to fill ministries with who was left.

Normally, it would be rare to have three MLAs from the same area in cabinet together.

Geographic representation in a province as large as B.C. is important and now Clark has a new, clean slate of 49 MLAs to choose from—including some high-profile rookies. So, she has to share the cabinet wealth.

Letnick’s demotion should not be viewed as punishment for doing a bad job. The brutal reality is the premier and one cabinet minister is all this area was going to get.

It’s unclear if Ben Stewart, who stepped aside in Westside-Kelowna so Clark can run, would have been heading back to cabinet either. That may have played a part in him offering up his seat. Who knows?

Either way, this area should  still have the ear of the government. After all, the premier says she plans to call it her “second” home.


Just Posted

Kangaroo Creek Farm hops into season

Lake Country’s popular tourist site has opened its doors for the season

Rain on the way for the Okanagan-Shuswap

Vernon’s dust warning is ongoing

Four people displaced by Taylor Road fire

The Kelowna Fire Department say no one was injured and the cause of the fire is not suspicious

Kelowna patios ready for spring

Check out some local patios that are coming out with the sun

Kelowna golf course ready and open for spring business

Two Eagles Golf Course opened Saturday, more to come

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Kootnekoff: R v. Sidhu, was he asleep?

Driver in Humboldt crash wasn’t distracted at time of collision with bus,… Continue reading

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Letter: Stop raising the minimum wage

To the editor: The government is looking for ways to put more… Continue reading

Most Read