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

Cleanup scheduled for massive dump site near Peachland

The Okanagan Forestry Task Force is cleaning up an illegal dump site near

Traffic being redirected due to grass fire on Drought Hill

Crews responded to a grass fire on Highway 97 and 97C

Lake Country uses bylaw enforcement to try and stop Airport Inn’s operations

Bylaw enforcement is ongoing, said the district community development manager

Kelowna kitchen fire quickly extinguished

A fire in a home on Cadder Avenue was put out Wednesday afternoon

Smoky stop for Greyhound bus

Bus was seen with smoke coming from its brakes, Wednesday.

Pizza places help make dreams come true

The fourth annual Papa John’s Dreams for Kids Day is held today in Kelowna and West Kelowna

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

Ailing health care biggest hurdle for Okanagan jail

PART SIX: Inmates reportedly wait weeks for broken bones to be seen, challenges with maintaining medical staff

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Accused murderer found guilty in unrelated Penticton robbery

McGenn sentenced to 5 years, now faces 2nd-degree murder trial over Abbotsford man’s 2016 death

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

VIDEO: Vets, volunteers set up vaccination station for sick bunnies

Volunteers, vets try to stop spread of lethal virus

Most Read