Of the 23 people who were sworn in to the first Dalton McGuinty cabinet, only one, Jim Bradley is still in the cabinet, and only four others—Monte Kwinter, Donna Cansfield, Rick Bartolucci and John Gerretsen are still in the Legislature ; and the latter two have indicated that they will not be running again. A look at what has happened with the class of 2003 demonstrates the shifting landscape of provincial politics in Ontario—the “career” politician—at least provincially may be a thing of the past. Some suggest the attrition is a result of former Premier Mike Harris abolition of the MPP’s pension plan, forcing MPP’s to pursue careers while they still have working years ahead of them. But Eric Cunningham who sat on opposition Liberal benches for ten years during the Bill Davis era has another view. “Regardless of what party you support, the function of an MPP has been dumbed down.” He told the Bay Observer.” Whether you call it the “centre” or the PMO or the Premier’s office, there is far too much policy direction being given to the ministers.” Cunningham says in the Davis era, strong ministers and strong deputies were selected and given full responsibility—good and bad—for the running of their departments. “The process,” he said, “has been going on for 25 years and has simply reduced MPP’s to not being sufficiently relevant.” Of that Cabinet of 2003 here’s how some of them fared As the list shows the resignations of party stalwarts often leads to the loss of the seat.
Leave a Reply