Sigh. I’ll say it. I don’t think Thomas Mulcair is a New Democrat

I've got friends and acquaintances in pretty much everyone's campaign these days. So I'm going to disappoint someone I'm sure when I say that I can't believe anyone who would be comfortable serving in Jean Charest's cabinet could turn around and call themselves a New Democrat and be taken seriously, much less be made leader.

I’ve got friends and acquaintances in pretty much everyone’s campaign these days. So I’m going to disappoint someone I’m sure when I say that I can’t believe anyone who would be comfortable serving in Jean Charest’s cabinet could turn around and call themselves a New Democrat and be taken seriously, much less be made leader.

To me Mulcair seems like Canada’s Tony Blair.

Now admittedly, Tony Blair did bring a rather long and brutishly nasty Tory reign to an end and I remember being quite excited that it happened.

I remember Billy Bragg being interviewed on As It Happens talking quite frankly about the fact that there was only one letter difference between the Tony Party and the Tory Party but still he was joyful because that one letter would make so much difference in so many people’s lives.

I shared his elation.

And then I remember the endless reams of disappointing news from Britain for years afterward.

I don’t know if Billy still supports Labour. Probably. He’s ever the pragmatist. But I have to imagine having a conservative with a rose lapel really harmed the Labour Party itself and its image among British voters as a movement for social change. And I suspect that’s part of why they’re so adrift now.

I’m happy to hear from Mulcair supporters as to why I’m wrong.

I’m not actually sure who I would vote for if I were an NDP member. I’m not.

3 Comments

  1. Mulcair has been a federal NDP member since 1974. In Quebec, there is no provincial NDP organisation to speak of; therefore, all federalists gathered under the liberal party there. This is a familiar smear, but repeating it doesn’t make it a fact.

  2. I am not worried about an ideological shift under Thomas Mulcair. However, I do think that if the NDP membership elects him, he will become the NDP. Essentially, any policy convention will become merely advisory under Mulcair’s watch. He will make the policy; he will decide who will speak on behalf of the NDP. The party will likely become more centralized under his leadership.

  3. p kelly, is too defensive, and Skinny Dipper (as always) is too much the optimist. First of all, of course saying it doesn’t make it a fact. However, in my experience, everything about Mr. Mulcair’s political style reeks of old-style politics. As for his policy approach, only time will tell, but I think one would have to be blindly partizan to have much confidence in Mulcair’s progressivism. As for Skinny Dipper, come now, I have been to NDP conventions and my wife has been chairperson at two national conventions. They are scripted and very tightly controlled and those who control the party at the upper levels really control what will be talked about at the convention let alone decided.

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