Early thoughts about the federal cabinet shuffle:
* Gordon O'Connor gone as Defence Minister. No surprise. Once upon a time Defence was a minor post, usually given to some light weight. No more. With the war in Afghanistan, the government needs to communicate to Canadians as to why the effort is worth the high price we are paying. Will Peter MacKay be up to the job? Who knows? But he will be an improvement over O'Connor.
* Maxime Bernier to Foreign Affairs. Bernier is one of few stars in Harper's cabinet. And I think the man most likely to succeed the Prime Minister. Maybe that's why Harper wants him out of the country. I would rather have seen him as Finance Minister.
* Jim Prentice going to Industry. Not a good move. Prentice is a media darling, but a Red Tory and I fear he could do a lot of damage in that post.
* Diane Ablonczy in Cabinet. It's about time.
* Bev Oda out as Heritage Minister. Good news. Oda who is more liberal than the Liberals never met a government subsidy she didn't like. However, I doubt her replacement Josee Verner will be much of an improvement.
* Big disappointment. Jim Flaherty remains as Finance Minister. A sign the Tory drift to the left will continue.