Of all the species under threat in the North Atlantic, few inspire as much nostalgic passion as the Cabinet Minister.
Older generations can recall the day when survival during the harsh winter months was determined by two staples: cod liver oil and Cabinet Ministers. Finding a population of Cabinet Ministers in your region—or even coming upon a lone specimen in the woods—often turned life from a struggle into a tolerable and occasionally even bountiful experience. Many are the families raised thanks only to the creative uses they made of the many gifts gleaned from these creatures. During lean times Cabinet Ministers—much like seals and whales before them—provided food, fuel, warmth and clothing for many a rural family.
Causes of decline
Researchers aren’t sure what has led to the recent decline in cabinet ministers. Some attribute it to a surge in competitor species: investigative journalists, whistleblowers, Liberals, #nlpoli.
Others suggest that the population became unviable. Cabinet Ministers were plucked up before their prime; hunted before having the opportunity to reach maturity. Discarding Cabinet Ministers before they had the opportunity to reproduce—or even produce—may have also contributed to declining populations.
In a lemming-like fashion, some Cabinet Ministers have in recent years been observed bringing about their own demise. The cause for this is unclear, although can probably be blamed on an unstable environment — one that is changing too rapidly for them to adapt to.
The Cabinet Minister, in fact, offers us a unique example of the cruel intersection of environment and evolution; of nature and nurture. The Cabinet Minister may have been a victim of its own success. Where it once enjoyed a broad-ranging habitat, foraging and scavenging for succour across a wide swath of territory, in recent years it has evolved a counter-intuitive evolutionary niche and appears to inhabit only the marble-lined corridors of certain posh dining establishments and winebars in the refurbished parts of Water and Duckworth Streets. In the summer months, another small population has been sighted on some of the island’s luxury golf courses. Reducing its habitat in this fashion can hardly be considered an evolutionary advantage.
Some have also blamed the looming demise of the Cabinet Minister on technological advancements – namely, the spread of wi-fi signals. Much like the honeybee, it’s posited that wi-fi confuses the natural instincts of this species and causes them to engage in risky and destructive behaviour. Anyone who has seen one on Twitter can surely attest to this.
Its behaviour toward humans has also changed in recent years. Where once these strange creatures were not afraid to mingle with the ordinary human populations in towns and cities throughout the province—regardless of those humans’ class background or social standing—in recent years these beasts appear to have developed an aversion to human contact, with the exception of specially trained CEOs, corporate investors and high-ranking officers of the oil and gas industry.
This, too, can only be considered a negative survival mechanism.
Replenishing the species
Is there hope for the Cabinet Minister? Will we, one day, be able to once again proudly show off our local specimens in towns and districts throughout the province?
If we hope to reverse the decline of this important species, we will surely have to undertake a more forceful and proactive response to their decline. We need to find good, healthy specimens that show potential for long and productive lives, ones free of the infectious aberrations passed on among so many of them in recent years.
When we find these promising specimens, we must do our utmost to help them cultivate their natural gifts and restore a viable future to this once-treasured species that has played such an important role in our cultural lore and heritage.
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