Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mr. Campbell pushes the reset button

Monday's cabinet shuffle moved 16 cabinet ministers around the table, sending many on to new portfolios, designed it seems to change not only some of the faces in the Ministries, but to deflect some of the ongoing political troubles for the Premier.

Though if the reviews of his Monday morning movements are any indication, the troubles continue on anew, only the names on the door plates seemingly changed.

In the capital, the Times Colonist found little to inspire from the Premiers personnel shift, while chief columnist Les Leyne focused on the comings and goings with the Premier's gatekeeper position the chief of staff.

Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun called the shuffle a move made of desperation, not exactly the ringing endorsement of leadership that perhaps the Liberals were hoping for by the end of Monday's news cycle.

Michael Smyth of the Province referred to the days events as a shell-game shuffle, also providing particular attention to the departure of the Premier's right hand man Martyn Brown who has been dispatched to deputy minister duties in tourism.

Over at the Globe and Mail, one word seemed to highlight their reviews of Monday's reassignments, that word being confusion, with mixed messages being sent to the province's civil servants, many apparently unsure at the moment who they may really work for.

Globe Columnist Gary Mason also touched on the "mysterious move" of Martyn Brown and the other changes to the cabinet which he suggests most likely won't have any impact on the party's gruesome standing with the public

If Monday's Liberal lottery was to be an indication that the Premier is back on his game, it would seem that the message hasn't been received by many, including some within his own party.

Energy Minister Bill Bennett was unusually blunt in his assessment of the Liberal game plan in recent times, providing a position statement that possibly best describes the backlash of late against the Liberals, "It's the difference between doing things to people and with people, and I personally believe it's just smarter to do things with people"

Needless to say the Opposition NDP have taken he opportunity to weigh in on the new cabinet, calling the Premier's moves to  nothing but "just another frantic move from a scandal plagued government that's out of gas."

The NDP talking points played on any number of themes, giving a rather hefty bit of work to NDP one liner writers, among some of their findings upon the release of the cabinet shuffle  were digs at the Premier's dedication to recycling, as he moves ministers from point to point and a suggestion that the Public Safety portfolio be re-named the Ministry of the Revolving door.

As well as their thoughts on the actual shuffle, the NDP also took aim at the Premier's television address scheduled for Wednesday night.

Pointing out that the Liberal's have had a bit of an avoidance issue when it comes to convening the Legislature, they wondered aloud if the Premier might wish to provide the House Leader with an advertising budget since he's so fond of television time.

We're not sure if the Premier is likely to take them up on their suggestions, nor if he would share in their criticisms, but they won't keep him from his close up tonight.

In his television address this evening Mr. Campbell intends to refocus the agenda on such things as the economy, education and take the opportunity to try and turn around the anti HST backlash. The latter a rather ambitious mountain to climb to say the least.

If he hopes to turn around what appears to be a pretty dire political situation, his Wednesday night chat had best capture the attention of an audience  that has seemingly grown weary of his time on the political stage.

The twenty five minutes of political redirection and hopeful redemption takes place at 7 tonight on Global TV, with radio broadcasts available on the CBC, CKNW and CFAX radio in Victoria.

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