4

Thomas Mulcair is man to beat in NDP leadership race—and the man who may pull the party more to the centre


 

There’s broadening agreement that Thomas Mulcair is the man to beat in the race to succeed the late Jack Layton as leader of the federal New Democratic Party.

Last night, seven contenders for the spot as Official Opposition Leader squared off in the last  debate before social democrats congregate in Toronto on March 23 and 24 to elect their new chief. In an indication that Mulcair is perceived as the frontrunner, much of the debate was filled with digs at his platform that promises to “modernize” the NDP to broaden its appeal beyond its left-wing base. Fellow candidate Paul Dewar, for example, told Mulcair that “it seems like you’re a little down on the party,” asking him how he expects “to inspire people to vote for our party when you don’t seem to be inspired by our party?”

As the race enters its final lap, much has been made of Mulcair’s past as a cabinet minister in the Liberal government of Quebec Premier Jean Charest—and there’s been some disquiet over the suggestion he would move the party toward to political centre. Brian Topp, the favourite of the NDP’s old guard, warned at the debate that such a tactical move would damage the party by blurring the distinction between the NDP and Liberals. He asked: “Shouldn’t we be attacking unfair taxes and climate change and inequality—the issues our party was founded to fight?”

But the way Mulcair seems to see it, the best way to fight for one’s beliefs is to do so from a position of power. And to gain that standing, one must make a play for more centrist voters.

 


 
Filed under:

Thomas Mulcair is man to beat in NDP leadership race—and the man who may pull the party more to the centre

  1. Thomas Mulcair has performed very well during the debates and campaign.  During the debates, he has been quite patient while debating others.  He knows what to say and how to use the right tone of voice to get his message across.  Mr. Mulcair will be able to challenge Stephen Harper in Parliament and in the next federal election campaign.  Mr. Mulcair is a threat to the Conservatives because he will be able to help organize the NDP to go after traditionally Conservative voters.

    • The exact opposite is true.  You’re talking about a first-class hothead who doesn’t look before he leaps, who’s been part of more than one party.  And most important of all, Ed Broadbent (the party’s grand elder statesman) doesn’t support him.

      Put your money on Brian Topp.

      • well, i guess Ed Broadbent is god. And Ed never said that don’t vote Mulcair, he just prefers Topp. So if you have no opinion of your own , then vote Topp. If it just one of factors playing into your decision, then it should fine, vote Topp.
        I like Ed a lot, but i have an opinion of my own, and I’m voting for Mulcair. I agree with skinny dipper on most of what he said. I like that he has principle, I like that he is intelligent, I like that he is electable by others (At the end, we all gonna vote NDP, but will others?). I liked the fact that he is not committing to raising taxes from now, he should look at the budget in 2015, look at the circumstances then, work with NDP members and economists,  and decide then on economic platform. Who can tell what we need then? we could be in the midst of a deep recession or in a great boom. I was disappointed by a lot of the candidates theme “We are true NDPers”. I thought we are an inclusive party, this is just divisive. Who is supposed to say  who is True NDPer from who is not?  There shouldn’t be a purity test. 

        • Thanks for your comment Nazar Abbas.  If the members want to vote for Brian Topp, that is fine by me.  What I do like about Thomas Mulcair is that he will be ready to lead the NDP on day one.  A good man like Brian Topp will need to find a seat.  Who would be the interim parliamentary leader?  Nicole Turmel?  Paul Dewar does need to improve his French.  Niki Ashton is very idealistic.  However, she needs more years of experience in Parliament in order that she add some realistic depth into her idealism.  Nathan Cullen is unfortunately type-cast as the one-issue join-the-progressives candidate. Peggy Nash has been able to attract NDP loyalists.  How will she attract current non-NDP voters?

          All the candidates have good qualities.  However, Thomas Mulcair seems to have all these good qualities put together. 

Sign in to comment.