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Liveblogging the cabinet swearing in ceremony.

By DJ Kelly March 13, 2008

Can you think of anything more boring? But here I go.

10:03 – We finally get started. And it looks like Stelmach forgot his speech. Good thing it was delivered to him.

10:04 – The national anthem starts with God Save the Queen? Oh, there’s the national anthem. But that’s not the full song. ??? WTF just happened to the song? Okay, it looks like we’ll have to wing it. At least everyone sang instead. Not well. My first opinion of the new cabinet? They should not be Alberta’s next barbershop 25-et.

10:05 – Normie Kwong wants to speak. Not your turn yet though. Sorry dude. Don’t laugh at him! Honest mistake.

10:06 – Invocation over and now you can talk Normie. Oooo. And your speech is delivered by a man in a red coat. Now that is special. Certainly more than the guy who ducked in earlier with Stelmach’s.

10:07 – Stelmach is efficient as he simply announces the ministers who’s portfolios will not be changed. Straight to the point.

10:08 – But they weren’t to be the first ones. Ooops. Hey newbies, please come forward to take your oath first. Hey guys we just called, just keep awkwardly standing. Sorry.

10:10 – Keeping things secret is actually part of the oath? Who knew? That explains a lot.

10:11 – Did I hear the word “dread” in the oath too? Strange. And there’s an Executive Council Rulebook? Again, who knew?

10:13 – Applause for signing the book. Way to go. Hey Alison, please come back. We need to to swear out loud now that you signed.

10:14 – Normie is having trouble with what he’s supposed to say. Don’t worry, with 24 cabinet ministers you’ll have plenty of practice. I can’t blame him actually. How many times do you need to say “Alison Marie (?) Redford” before we get it? Apparently plenty because I still didn’t make out her middle name.

10:16 – More signing for Redford. But now she takes a seat. Not only first (as Attorney General) but you get to help Normie oversee things. Dig it. Good for you.

10:17 – So does Normie need to say that long speech each time or not? How about given buddy a little upfront direction people? Either way, Ron Stevens gets through things fast. Nice to see from a Deputy Premier.

10:18 – Less than a minute for Dave Hancock (Education) too.

10:19 – Iris Evan’s follows. Handshakes for everyone. And was that a hug for Stelmach? I was typing. Sorry.

10:20 – Ron Liepert (Health) is nice and clear. I could actually hear him take is oath. BTW, isn’t it nice they each have their own little card with their speech?

10:21 – Lucien? I thought it was Luke Oullette! I’m sure there is a Parti Quebecois joke in there somewhere…

10:22 – “Zwozdesky” just rolls off Stelmach’s tough. “Zwozdesky”. I’m going to be saying it all day. And a hug for Stelmach. Maybe they are better buds than anyone knew…

10:23 – Someone else, I missed his name, swears himself in. And he doesn’t look too excited about it. Ah, there’s a smile when he shakes Kwong’s hand.

10:24 – Janis Tarchuk grabs the bible quick like she’s seen this before… oh wait, she has. This is starting to get boring. And a hug for Stelmach.

10:25 – Mary Ann Jablonski completes the same process but skips the handshake as Stelmach goes straight for the hug.

10:26 – Hector, good luck in Employment and Immigration. You’re going to need it for sure.

10:27 – Raymond Danyluk looks like he came straight from his mountain cabin. I’m not sure about that beard and haircut, my friend. I’m not sure it says what you want it to say.

10:28 – John Ralph Hayden sounds like the name of a guy who came straight from his mountain cabin. But nope, he’s a minister too now. Congrats. What did Stelmach whisper in his ear?

10:29 – Stelmach really emphasised the word “honourable” when introducing Yvonne Fritz. I wonder if that mean’s a little extra something. And look at her go for the hugs! Hugs all around! Hugs for everyone! Where’s my hug?

10:30 – Lindsay Blackett does his business next. I want to see him show some community spirit during his swearing in. There it is: a hug for Alison Redford. And for the Premier! Fresh!

10:32 – Cindy Lou Ady? Cindy Lou? I didn’t know that was your middle name. Maybe that’s what the laugh from the ministers was about. Speaking of which: Horton Hear’s a Who opens on Friday doesn’t it?

10:33 – Heather Klimchuk doesn’t look like a rookie as she goes for the bible. She does look happy however. Who can blame her.

10:34 – Ooops. Forgot to sign the big book Normie. Don’t worry, Alison Redford’s got your back. In the job five minutes and she’s already making a difference.

10:35 – And now the parliamentary assistants. And I’m starting to zone out. And get writer’s cramp. It looks like the big book is closed and the assistants only get a regular sheet of paper signed. It looks like trying to get mom and dad (Redford and Kwong) to sign your report card. I’ll try harder next year I promise! Can I still go to the lake this summer?

10:37 – No middle names for the parliamentary assistants apparently. Thomas brought his own pen. And he wants his sheet of paper back. Nope not going to happen. That goes in the big file folder kept next to the big book in the big office filing cabinet (of cabinets). Presumably in a big building somewhere.

10:39 – Stelmach is grinning like a… pig in… something… as he says “Raj Sherman”. Apologies if that seemed like I was going to make a farmer joke. I wasn’t, honestly. Raj gets a hug from the Premier and a slap on the back as he walks away. These guys better be careful otherwise at the end of four years Stelmach will be slapping them on the butt as them come off the Legislature floor!

10:41 – I like how Stelmach checks people off his list at the podium after he calls them.

10:43 – My first yawn. This is actually as boring as I thought it would be. Why am I liveblogging this? Seriously, I should get back to work. Oh, wait, an awkward hug or handshake moment! Man I hate those! They’re so… awkward.

10:45 – How many more folks are there! Did they really all need to be sworn in? Did ever single member of Stelmach’s 72 MLAs get a cabinet position? Sheesh. This is a long stretch from the, what was it, 17 cabinet members he had last time. 15 months never seemed so long ago. At least not after 45 minutes of people reading, signing and handshake/hugging.

10:47 – Policy committee chairs! Seriously! Are they even awake still?!

10:48 – Hey Art Johnston, could you do me a solid and just swear in for you ‘and those guys still back there’. That’d really speed this dog and pony show along. Okay fine go get your hug then.

10:49 – At this point I am utterly convinced I know why this isn’t being broadcast on television. I now also know the appeal of The View: it is not this.

10:50 – Tony Vandermeer adds one more hug to the count and breaks my state-of-the-art hug counter. (I only bought I cheap one at Canadian Tire. I didn’t think it’d be given such a rigorous test today.)

10:51 – I don’t think he could hold that sheet of paper any further from his face. At least now you get optical coverage. Go buy some glasses.

10:52 – Dude in the red coat took Normie’s file folder, that must mean things are FINALLY winding up. Ed Stelmach has to find the right page.

10:53 – Ed Stelmach stumbles. That sentence didn’t make sense. But thanks for making it seem like you are welling up with emotion. “Proud of the number of women.” Did he just congratulate the women? On being picked by him?

10:54 – I agree the parliamentary assistants show the areas you will be putting emphasis. And he says they will give a focus on aboriginal people.

10:55 – Special shout out to culture and community spirit. Mr. Blackett, a rookie, might’ve just shat himself.

10:56 – Is “long-term sustainability” not redundant? Don’t go off script Mr. Stelmach, it’s just awkward.

10:57 – High five for mandate letters. High ten for making them public.

10:58 – “Our first cabinet meeting starts in a few minutes.” What’re we waiting for! Let’s go! And the music plays them off… *RECORD SCRATCH*…

10:59 – Normie wants to say something too! He wants to make a football joke. Kay…

11:00 – We hope they will work hard too. Let’s not hold this up anymore. Let’s let them go get to work.

11:01 – Apparently the cabinet meeting will have to wait. Dude in the read jacket says there will be a reception. And the regal party is off. And now… we all just stand around. Still standing. Still standing. Oh, there is Tom Olsen to tell the Premier what to do. And now Stelmach waves everyone to move around aimlessly. Obediently they do so. Very well too. Like they’ve had practice.

11:02 – The feed is cut. Blackout. I guess that’s it. No more chamber music for me. No more book signing either. I guess I’ll take that abrupt end to the swearing in ceremony as a statement saying ‘you’ve already wasted an hour, so get back to work, coffee break’s over”. So thanks for reading everyone, I hope you enjoyed it. And with out any further adieu I bid you *BLACKOUT*