I realize this is some pretty early speculation on the Stelmach cabinet, but speculation is what the blogosphere thrives on!
Post: PREMIER OF ALBERTA
Minister: HON. RALPH KLEIN (Calgary-Elbow)
What Happens?: Premier Stelmach is the only sure thing come December 15th.
Post: MINISTER OF ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS/NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT
Minister: HON. PEARL CALAHASEN (Lesser Slave Lake)
What Happens?: Pearl stays in cabinet for sure... she backed Eddie on the 2nd ballot and delivered for him. Its reasonable to conclude that she'll stay in Aboriginal Affairs, too. Pearl's a smart lady (Master's Degree and all), but she's also the most logical choice in caucus for this Ministry.
Post: MINISTER OF ADVANCED EDUCATION
Minister: HON. DENIS HERARD (Calgary-Egmont)
What Happens?: Herard is toast. A Dinning MLA who is close to retirement isn't likely to fare well in cabinet making.
Post: MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Minister: HON. DOUG HORNER (Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert)
What Happens?: Horner has a lock on keeping Hon. in front of his name. He backed Ed in the second ballot and, like just about every other Ed coalition MLA, delivered. Ed does have a lot of rural folks to reward, though, so Horner may get shuffled from Agriculture. Luckily for Ed, Minister Horner is a bright and versatile member who could be given almost any portfolio without hesitation.
Post: MINISTER OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES
Minister: HON. HEATHER FORSYTH (Calgary-Fish Creek)
What Happens?: My bet is that Forsyth is out. Given the choice between her and Yvonne Fritz as female Calgary Ministers, i'm betting he keeps Fritz.
Post: MINISTER OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Minister: HON. DENIS DUCHARME (Bonnyville-Cold Lake)
What Happens?: Denis has been a great member of caucus since his first election, but he's got two major things going against him: 1. He backed Dinning. 2. He's from rural NE Alberta, the Stelmach heartland. Sadly, I think Minister Ducharme will be no more.
Post: MINISTER OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Minister: HON. CLINT DUNFORD (Lethbridge West)
What Happens?: Lethbridge's only Government MLA stays in cabinet thanks to geography and competence. Could get shuffled, though.
Post: MINISTER OF EDUCATION
Minister: HON. GENE ZWOZDESKY (Edmonton-Mill Creek)
What Happens?: The jury's out on this one. Many say that he's out because he backed Dinning and Stelmach has lots of northerners to reward. I was thinking more along the lines that he's a valuable voice from Edmonton-proper along with Hancock. Could go either way.
Post: MINISTER OF ENERGY
Minister: HON. GREG MELCHIN (Calgary-North West)
What Happens?: Stays in cabinet and keeps this job. Stelmach has to pick from a Calgary full of Dinning supporters, and Melchin is one of the most competent of them all. The industry also likes him. Look for Premier Stelmach not to ruffle too many feathers in the oilpatch.
Post: MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT
Minister: HON. GUY BOUTILIER (Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo)
What Happens?: Guy stays in cabinet, without question... again, geography is on his side. May get shuffled from this portfolio, though. If Stelmach is uncomfortable giving Morton the Intergovernmental Affairs portfolio, this or SRD could be a good fit for the Professor.
Post: MINISTER OF FINANCE
Minister: HON. SHIRLEY MCCLELLAN (Drumheller-Stettler)
What Happens?: I think Shirley will stay in cabinet. Premier Stelmach will want to have a few experienced voices around the table and none is more experienced than Alberta's version of C.D. Howe. She'll likely lose the Deputy Premier title and possibly get shuffled from Finance, but she won't be demoted too far down the line.
Post: MINISTER OF GAMING
Minister: HON. GORDON GRAYDON (Grande Prairie-Wapiti)
What Happens?: Minister Graydon has been competent, but his fellow northwestern MLAs who backed the new Premier will likely bump him from cabinet. Personally, Gaming is a ministry i'd like to see amalgamated with something else.
Post: MINISTER OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES
Minister: HON. GEORGE VANDERBURG (Whitecourt-Ste. Anne)
What Happens?: Same boat as Zwozdesky, but for different reasons. George VanderBurg was one of the rising stars from the Class of 2001 and the new Premier may not want to dump him, but he's also got a lot of other folks in the northwest to reward.
Post: MINISTER OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Minister: HON. IRIS EVANS (Sherwood Park)
What Happens?: Iris stays in cabinet and keeps her job. She was Ed's highest profile backer and delivered for him when it counted. I suspect he'll let her continue what she started in Health.
Post: MINISTER OF HUMAN RESOURCES AND EMPLOYMENT
Minister: HON. MIKE CARDINAL (Athabasca-Redwater)
What Happens?: A Dinning supporter from the rural northeast and who is likely near retirement? You do the math...
Post: MINISTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORTATION
Minister: HON. TY LUND (Rocky Mountain House)
What Happens?: Same fate as Herard and Cardinal, adios Ty. His replacement will be an interesting one to watch... could be a promotion for a guy like Luke Ouellette, or it could go to its former Minister, the Doc.
Post: ASSOC. MIN. OF INFRA/TRANS, CAPITAL PLANNING
Minister: HON. BARRY MCFARLAND (Little Bow)
What Happens?: This quasi-Ministry gets abolished, which is a good thing. Its Minister does too, which is very unfortunate.
Post: MINISTER OF INNOVATION AND SCIENCE
Minister: HON. GEORGE VANDERBURG (Whitecourt-Ste. Anne)
What Happens?: VanderBurg took this over from Vic Doerksen when he stepped down to run. If this Ministry doesn't get abolished, I suspect it'll be given back to Doerksen to give Red Deer its cabinet seat back.
Post: MINISTER OF INT'L/INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS
Minister: HON. GARY MAR (Calgary-MacKay)
What Happens?: Gary Mar or Ron Stevens will likely get the nod as Deputy Premier and Stelmach's reach out to Calgary/Dinning man. There are a lot of arguments for keeping Mar in cabinet, but if he's not planning to run again then Stelmach may choose not to appoint him. As for the Ministry, it COULD go to Morton if the Premier thinks he'll be constructive in his former Ministry.
Post: MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL
Minister: HON. RON STEVENS (Calgary-Glenmore)
What Happens?: There are few lawyers in caucus, so there's a pretty good chance that Stevens could keep this job and possibly get the Deputy Premier title added on. Either way, Ron Stevens may fare the best of any Dinning supporter in caucus.
Post: MINISTER OF MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
Minister: HON. ROB RENNER (Medicine Hat)
What Happens?: Both Medicine Hat MLAs are gov't members, and both supported Dinning. Renner stays in cabinet, and probably keeps this job.
Post: MINISTER OF RESTRUCTURING AND GOV'T EFFICIENCY
Minister: HON. LUKE OUELLETTE (Innisfail-Sylvan Lake)
What Happens?: This Ministry, which was a dumb idea in the first place, will thankfully be put to rest. Even better news is that Luke Ouellette, a Stelmach backer from the beginning, will finally get to put his talents to good use with what'll likely be a big promotion.
Post: MINISTER OF SENIORS AND COMMUNITY SUPPORTS
Minister: HON. YVONNE FRITZ (Calgary-Cross)
What Happens?: This is another Ministry which could be adjusted or amalgamated, but I think Fritz stays in cabinet as the female Calgary Minister rather than Heather Forsyth.
Post: SOLICITOR GENERAL AND MINISTER OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Minister: HON. HARVEY CENAIKO (Calgary-Buffalo)
What Happens?: Harvey's a new Minister, relatively new MLA, and represents downtown Calgary. Not to mention he's the most qualified person in caucus for this position. If the Ministry remains intact, expect Minister Cenaiko to as well.
Post: MINISTER OF SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Minister: HON. DAVID COUTTS (Livingstone-Macleod)
What Happens?: A capable Minister and a genuinely nice guy, without question. However, he's another one of those fellows who backed Dinning and is near retirement. He's a SW Alberta voice in cabinet, but could be shuffled out to make room in that geographic slot for Ted Morton. This is also a Ministry that Morton could fit into, given his love of the outdoors.
So based on that, i'm predicting at least 8 vacancies. Now the 24-member cabinet will be shrunk, Premier Stelmach has already indicated that. If if drops to 20, that's 4 vacancies. If that's the case, look for the following people to join cabinet:
-RAY DANYLUK (Lac La Biche-St. Paul). No question here... he delivered almost 2500 votes in his riding for Stelmach and is a pretty new face in government as a member of the Class of 2001.
-TED MORTON (Foothills-Rockyview). Obviously. He delivered most of his second place votes and still commands a large faction of conservatives in Alberta. The "what" remains to be seen, but the "if" is certain.
-DAVE HANCOCK (Edmonton-Whitemud). Another obvious. It was an absolute shame that Dave had to resign in the first place. He will naturally regain a seat at the table.
-LYLE OBERG (Strathmore-Brooks). His role remains uncertain, but not his seat at the table. He'll be a voice from the rural south that Premier Stelmach will appreciate.
Now those four are for sure, but depending on what kind of cutting and shuffling we see, there are some other names to watch for:
-MEL KNIGHT (Grande Prairie-Smoky). Grande Prairie will need a voice at the table and Knight is the natural choice since he supported Ed. That is, of course, if Graydon does get the boot.
-HECTOR GOUDREAU (Dunvegan-Central Peace). I know there's only room for so many northerners in cabinet, but Hector is one of the smartest guys in caucus and will no doubt make the short list.
-LLOYD SNELGROVE (Vermilion-Lloydminster). Lloyd's a straight-shooting, no B.S. guy who was also an original Ed backer with big results from his riding. If there's a bigger-than-I-think swath making room for Stelmach supporters, Lloyd could easily land himself on the front bench.
-IVAN STRANG (West Yellowhead). An experienced MLA, Strang could also fill one of a number of roles around the cabinet table.
So that's my best guess at this point. Comments and discussion are welcome as we await the big day on December 15th!