The Cabinet shuffle watch is back on again.
Rumors that Premier Dunderdale was going to shake up her cabinet surfaced a couple of weeks ago. The shuffle was expected on Friday, September 14th, however the resignation of former Cabinet Minister Tom Osborne from the Progressive Conservative Cabinet put the kabosh to that!
A shake-up in political staff and more realignments of the senior civil service were considered by some political watchers as a prelude to a realignment of the chairs around the cabinet table. Considering that the provincial election was less than a year ago, it might seem a little premature for a significant change.
That said this has been a real tough year for the Premier. She has been battling a steep decline in the polls, a member of her caucus has publicly denounced her leadership and left the party to sit as an independent, the Prime Minister's paternalistic approach to serious provincial issues like the closure of the Search and Rescue Sub-Base and the Burton Winters tragedy have conspired to has make her look like a political dud. More to be pitied than respected.
There is also the issue of a number of senior cabinet ministers that are rumored to be ready to retire. A couple of whom wanted out prior to the last election but stayed on for the good of the party heading into the election. They held up their end of the bargain, now it is the Premier's turn. Of course this is not the time to be gambling seats. The PC's certainly could loose a number of by-elections without any concern for loosing their very strong majority.
Cabinet talk hit fever pitch yesterday evening after the CBC's top political reporter tweeted that he was hearing that a shuffle was possible today.
It should be interesting to watch the media advisories for the next couple of days. Has a Premier ever shuffled the cabinet on a Sunday! That would catch those gossipy journalists and politicos by surprise!