In order to show government frugality and that Conservative governments are leaner and meaner Harper has expanded the cabinet to 37 members from 31, rewarding
his loyal crew of MPs with bigger salaries but it should be noted Harper is moving towards equality of sexes at the public trough.. This is from the Vancouver Sun.
Note that since Quebec misbehaved it has one less cabinet minister. Globe and Mail.
Bloated cabinet strange way for Harper to show restraint
Frugality seems to have been shown the door as prime minister makes more than one in four MPs a member of the inner circle
Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver SunPublished: Friday, October 31, 2008
Stephen Harper has avoided tough choices, announcing Thursday a hefty cabinet that makes more than one in every four elected Conservatives a minister.
Fully 38 of the 143 members of Parliament on the governing side will sit in cabinet. That's up from 31 members before the Oct. 14 election.
What makes the size noteworthy is the fact the prime minister, in announcing his new team, emphasized the government's main focus will be the economy.
"The central responsibility of our new mandate will be to ensure that Canada's businesses and families have the security they need to weather any global economic storm," he said in the foyer of the House of Commons following the cabinet swearing-in. For the sake of stability, he kept Jim Flaherty in finance.
But frugality does not appear to be part of the Conservative calculation, despite the fact the country is now flirting with the possibility of a deficit budget.
Harper's cabinet is both large and unfocused.
Salaries alone for the additional ministers will total more than $500,000. In addition, each minister must be supported by a small bureaucracy.
By having a corpulent cabinet, Harper increases his government's profile in more places in the country, which of course is helpful politically.
The large number of cabinet positions also works wonders for Conservative morale and party loyalty.