So, what goes into Ed's Cabinet?
Well, first of all, it has to be said that he's gotten himself quite a bit of breathing room by taking the stance that "Cabinet is too large" during the leadership election. This gives him the ability to make whole-scale change without being accused of holding his own personal Kristallnacht against those Ministers who supported Dinning. I'd be surprised if half of the cabinet, at the end of the day, wasn't made up of Dinning supporters anyhow: There are just too many MLA's who supported Dinning to ignore them ALL.
Mark Norris WILL be in Stelmach cabinet, but he's got to win re-election as an MLA first. He certainly won't be likely to do it in the by-election in Calgary Elbow, to replace their outgoing MLA. Look for Mark to play a big role in the Cabinet after the next provincial election in a couple years.
Lyle... what to do with Lyle... you can't give him Health, because you're in favour of full, public funding, and he favours privitization of some services. The opposition would eat Lyle alive in the Legislature every day over the contradiction. Can Lyle serve in a major position? Unlikely... but WILL Lyle accept a minor Cabinet portfolio? I have my doubts... this one's hard to call.
I can tell you I sure as heck don't want him as the minister for MY particular sector of the government.
The Deputy Premier almost certainly has to come from Calgary, or the Tories risk losing more than a few votes to a Liberal party eager to capitalize on an attention-starved Calgary... Possibilities include Harvey Cenaiko, Ron Stevens, and Gary Mar. If you're betting, go with Stevens.
The Cabinet, as it is, is going to be almost completely blown up when Ed makes his announcements... he's not just shuffling deck chairs, he's going to be amalgamating ministries, moving departments from one ministry to another, creating new ministries... it all sounds simple, but take it from someone whose job it is to know who to call up the ladder - when they start moving the ladders, things get VERY complicated on the ground. Shirley McClellan has a shot at staying Minister of Finance. Everything else is up in the air. People who have proven to be capable ministers (who haven't already been mentioned) might be up for jobs, or Ed may have specific people in mind, due to their abilities, for ministries we don't even know yet will EXIST on Dec. 15th. Some of those whose past cabinet work has been notable include Iris Evans, Clint Dunford, and Heather Forsyth.
Past Cabinet experience will be helpful to Ed, but someone too associated with the "old guard" might prove a liability, so Stelmach will have to balance the 2 concerns carefully. Also needing balancing is the proportion of ministers from the North vs. the South, and also Urban vs. Rural. Any chinks in the armour that the Liberals can use to drive a wedge between Ed and voters, they will. Count on it.
And of course, the elephant in the room that nobody wants to deal with... what do you do with Ted Morton? He's got devoted followers who are party members (for now), but if you put him in too high-profile a position, you run the risk of having him embarass the province or the premier. Added to this is the fact that he's only been an MLA for 2 years. Offer something big, you risk offending long-time MLA's with more seniority (who are generally much better organized to help, or NOT help, your next leadership campaign). If you offer him something too small, you run the risk of offending him and his support, and then you may be facing him as the Leader of another party, along with his devoted followers, in 2 years time. MY guess is that we'll see Morton in the Cabinet, as something along the lines of "Minister Responsible for Democratic Renewal and Reform". A 2-year gig, one of his pet projects, and if he does the job well, you can promote him down the line and the ministry will be self-destroying - the better it does its job, the sooner it can vanish.