Now while I knocked all this cabinet talk, I have to suddenly comment. It's bordering on hypocrisy, but I'm following my own directions, at least, in commenting post facto.
So the only real interesting thing, I find, is that Peter Mackay is now the Minister of Defence. This has a few angles. First, there's the relationship with Harper and Mackay. Is Harper putting Mackay in likely the toughest ministry so that he would get tarred and not ever be a threat for a successor? He kinda kep Peter out of the way before not giving him much spotlight while he was in foreign affairs. Afghanistan won't go well, but at least if it looks bad on Harper, his Brutus will be there to take some of the blame.
How about his home riding? Is this going to help him being that he is an east coaster who will likely think about his region as a minister of defence, or will it hurt him because of Afghanistan. If it helps him, bye bye Elizabeth May. If it hurts him, he'll be the one 2nd most culpable in a region where many people will be paying attention. There's a small risk here for Mackay.
How about his qualifications? Not many. I'm not sure there is much evidence of why Mackay should have this job. At least when Baird replaced Ambrose you knew he was going there to be a weasel. In Mackay's case, his performance is a bit reminiscent of a sad puppy dog. Yes, I went there. He doesn't seem to be as slick at slivering his way out of tough situations. He's more like a pitbull that'll try to bite back. Still there. Unfortunately, he usually impales himself.
Either way. Harper is still running the show as much as possible, and well, I'm not sure how long he can bare the weight of a country on his shoulders.