My cabinet picks!

These are the people I would love to see in an Andrew Holness cabinet.

The ideal size of a cabinet for me is 15. However, recognizing the potential internal struggle resulting from the thin majority in the house and the need to give as many of the women as possible positions in the executive of the country because they are all very competent, these are my picks – 17 Ministers and 6 State Ministers

  1. Minister of Defence & Climate Change – Andrew Holness;
  2. Minister of Finance, Planning and the Public Service – Audley Shaw; State Minister Fayval Williams;
  3. Minister of & Justice – Delroy Chuck;
  4. Minister of Growth & Information – Daryl Vaz; State Minister Floyd Green;
  5. Minister of Education – Kamina Johnson-Smith (Senator); State Minister Marissa Dalrymple- Philibert;
  6. Minister of Health – Marlene Malahoo-Forte;
  7. Minister of Land, Water, Housing – Dr. Horace Chang; State Minister- Juliet Holness;
  8. Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries – Dr. Chris Tufton; State Minister Alando Terrelonge;
  9. Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce – Karl Samuda;
  10. Minister of Tourism – Ed Bartlett;
  11. Minister of National Security – Danville Walker (Senator);
  12. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade – Dr Nigel Clarke (Senator)
  13. Minister of Local Government & Labour – Desmond McKenzie;
  14. Minister of Transport & Works- Mike Henry;
  15. Minister of STEM – Robert Montague;
  16. Minister of Youth, Sport, Culture & Entertainment – Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange; State Minister – Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn; and
  17. Minister without portfolio with responsibility for Water, Climate Change & Housing – Shahine Robinson.

Derrick Smith can and should continue to be Leader of Government Business in the house. An assignment Ministry of National Security would not give majority of Jamaicans any confidence in the government. He was Bruce Golding pick in 2007 and he was replaced.

Pearnel Charles is a good politician but his better days are behind him.

Rudyard Spencer was the Heath Minister before. However that portfolio now requires a lot of energy, initiative and a fresh look.

There are some vibrant who I have not included in my pick. They will make for a healthy back bench.

I would also love Audrey Marks in the Senate and also see her occupying a place in the executive. Her experience in business and her role as Ambassador to Washington would be assets that the country would be richer to have more of.

I expect that Ruel Reid will be returned to the Senate. However, I would love to see Kamina Johnson-Smith as Minister of Education. I believe as much as Minister of Information is an important portfolio, her energy would be wasted there when education is so critical and she has had great learning shadowing that portfolio.

More anon.



About emilyshields

Attorney-at-Law, Partner -Gifford Thompson & Shields; Broadcast Journalist; Host of RJR's Hotline -; Gunner Twitter- @emilymshields
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2 Responses to My cabinet picks!

  1. Grasshopper says:

    Interesting that you put Defence with Climate Change. Some experts in the latter see a natural fit between Agriculture and Climate Change. But, size apart, does it make policy sense to separate Climate Change from Housing, Land, etc?

  2. Grasshopper says:

    Growth is really an outcome from coordinated policy actions, and sits better as a goal that Cabinet has focus on, with the PM being the main driver of that focus. Putting it as a portfolio seems to create a bag of confusion of two ‘coordinators’ of government (economic) policy.

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