Are we under-estimating the NDP again?

Why you can’t sleep on Thomas Mulcair and the New Democrats

Paul Chiasson/CP

Thomas Mulcair says he had a “great summer.” Which perhaps only seems odd if you put much stock in the obvious poll numbers.

There was a trip to France to meet with Prince Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and then two tours of Canada—one to promote the NDP’s desire to see the Senate abolished, the other a “listening tour” of First Nations communities. It is the latter that Mr. Mulcair says is the “number one file” he’s worked on. He says he is resolved that his “will be the first government since Confederation to actually develop a nation-to-nation approach with First Nations and start solving some of these long-term, vexing problems that successive governments have either ignored or announced in their 13th year that they were going to finally deal with and then do nothing.”

All the same, the likelihood that his will be the next government has seemed, at least at first glance, to be decreasing. From the heady days of Spring 2012, when the New Democrats led the Conservatives for three months, support for the NDP has slowly eroded, falling from a peak of 35 to a low of 23 in July and August—much of the decline coinciding with the emergence of Justin Trudeau.

So has the NDP’s moment passed? Has the natural order of Canadian politics, after a brief disturbance, been restored? Or are we once again under-estimating the NDP?

Even if Mr. Trudeau could have been expected to enjoy a few months of honeymoon polling—like Mr. Mulcair and Michael Ignatieff before him—the Liberal bounce has been dramatic and, so far, largely sustained. But the numbers are not all bad for Mr. Mulcair.. CROP, for instance, has shown the NDP still leading in Quebec. And, perhaps most notably, here are also numbers from Abacus that show the NDP leader faring better than Mr. Trudeau when respondents are asked to judge each leader’s qualifications, judgment, vision and understanding of the problems facing the country.

Only in terms of likability does the NDP leader trail the Liberal leader. And perhaps that matters less than might be assumed. “People don’t vote for prime ministers they like, they vote for prime ministers they see as competent,” says one NDP official. If Mr. Mulcair cannot hope to bring the sort of spirit and attitude that Mr. Trudeau has brought, the NDP leader also has the experience that Mr. Trudeau lacks.

It is also true that no too long ago New Democrats would have been thrilled to see 23% in any kind of poll. “In 2011, nobody was predicting the NDP or seeing us as a contender. They do now,” says the official. “Our universe is bigger than it’s ever been. Before it was a lot of people [saying], ‘The NDP doesn’t have a chance, why would I waste my vote?’ Now they see NDP as a very possible government.”

By way of anecdote, Mr. Mulcair recalls a redirected flight in British Columbia this summer and having to show up an hour late to an event in Comox. When he finally arrived, he said, there were 250 people still waiting to see him. “So the brand is strong,” he says. He can point too to the candidates his party has drawn in Toronto Centre and Bourassa. Noting how much attention Linda McQuaig has drawn in her run for the former, he enthuses about Stephane Moraille’s run in Montreal—an immigrant from Haiti and former pop singer with Bran Van 3000 who now works as a lawyer. “She’s an incredible success story,” he says, “but she wanted to run with us.” There are familiar faces too, at least now operating behind the scenes. Anne McGrath and George Nakitsas, former chiefs of staff to Jack Layton and Ed Broadbent respectively, have been recruited to advise Mr. Mulcair on preparations for the 2015 campaign.

Opposite that are all the reasons to wonder about the NDP’s future. Mr. Trudeau continues to be an attractive story for both the press gallery and the public. The BC NDP suffered an embarrassing defeat in that province’s election and the NDP government in Nova Scotia was just replaced. Jack Layton is gone and Mr. Mulcair’s opponents are now keen to hang the moniker of “Angry Tom” on the successor to the so-called happy warrior (and now maybe it is Mr. Trudeau who has taken up the sense of fun that Mr. Layton owned in 2011). Prominent MPs Nathan Cullen and Olivia Chow might soon depart for other political pursuits (though if the latter manages to prove herself a popular and competent mayor for this country’s largest city, her departure might actually be to the NDP’s benefit in 2015).

And yet, it still basically true that the NDP has never been better positioned two years removed from an election. “The NDP has never been closer to forming a government,” Mr. Mulcair says. “And people are giving us a good hard look. And I don’t disagree with that. I don’t mind being under a microscope, whether it’s with the press or with the pundits or with the voting public. I want them to be giving us a good look. We’ve got a hell of a team.”

Even if that team has proved something as official opposition, the trick now is convincing voters that it can be trusted to govern. Mr. Mulcair acknowledges that Canadians will have to be “fed up” with the Conservatives if the Harper government is to be replaced. But replacing Prime Minister Harper with Prime Minister Mulcair  might also require winning two arguments: that now is the time for a progressive government and that New Democrats are not quite the free-spending, high-taxing socialists you might imagine them to be.

“This is an electorate that is risk averse,” says Brad Lavigne, an NDP strategist who advised Jack Layton. It is an electorate, he says, that is looking for a steady hand and a good manager.

Whatever Linda McQuaig has written in the past, there’ll be no increases to personal income taxes so long as Mr. Mulcair is leader. In a recent essay, Mr. Mulcair laid out his suggestions for the Throne Speech and over the last two weeks, New Democrats have been making daily announcements of what they would like to see done about the justice system, youth unemployment, public appointments and the Senate. NDP natural resources critic Peter Julian is drafting a national energy strategy. Some of what the NDP wants to be about is broad and philosophical: sustainable development, income inequality, regulation and the role for a national government. Some of it seems almost small: a commitment, for instance, to cap ATM fees at 50 cents per transaction.

That promise is not entirely new—Jack Layton raised it as a cause in 2007—but it is potentially not insignificant. It is a practical, understandable and achievable commitment. Of the sort the Conservatives are apparently thinking about building their next Throne Speech around.

In conversation, Mr. Mulcair gestures to his assistant and notes that he was charged $4 for a transaction in Newfoundland this summer. That, apparently, “is not on.”

“The public sees through those examples something that affects them directly because we’re talking about pocket book issues, but we’re talking about affordability and that plays right into the growing gap between the richest and the poorest in our society,” Mr. Mulcair explains. “So they’re templates. They’re things that people can look at and say, ‘That fits. That’s my vision. I want a fairer society.’ ”

The choice Mr. Mulcair sets up in speeches is between “a government that says we all have to settle for less and a government that knows together we can strive for more.” “We’re proposing another option,” Mr. Mulcair says to conclude the interview. “A government that’s going to exist only for the public. It’s going to work.”

He has also taken to telling New Democrats that “this is our moment.” And maybe it is or maybe it still could be.




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Are we under-estimating the NDP again?

  1. You want prophesy, Wherry? You can’t *handle* the prophesy!
    The prophesy is that, once again, Liberals and NDP are going to vote-split their way to a Tory minority. Which will rule like a majority.
    This will make everybody happy — Conservative supporters, Liberals party people NDP party people — except the large majority of the electorate.
    So it is written.

    • Or Lib majority govt, NDP official opposition, Con rump

      • Day dreaming again eh Emily?

        • Just pointing out the result that scares you. Cons have gone down to 2 before. Libs never have.

          And it would be poetic justice after the Con attempt to polarize the country between left and right.

          • Cons went down to two seats when Reform ate their lunch. In case you haven’t heard, the PCs and Reformers kissed and made up a few years ago. A split of the conservative vote is not really in the cards this time.

          • Yes, Conservatives took out their own party….very clever of them I’m sure.

            PCs are still around…Red Tories….and they will be voting Lib not neo-Con

          • Keep on telling yourself that.

          • I don’t need to ,Grits….I’m not in politics….or down in the polls covered in scandals.

          • Get off it, you and your internet mouth are on the payroll.

            Your cheque will be a bit late this week though; money bag Demarais has gone dormant on you.

          • Once again you are dreaming in technicolor. You Harper bashers have been saying the same thing since 2006. You never learn. Hatred is not an attractive feature and most Canadians will make the right choice and choose Harper given their options come 2015. Harper is no Mulroney and Mulroney has been gone for 20 years. Give it up.

          • It’s horrible to hate the prime minister; I wish he was a nicer guy. But I have to say, hollinm, that by the time we get to 2015, 2006 will be a long time ago and surely there’s been some water flowing under that bridge in that time. I honestly think that harper has a steep hill to climb in 2015 — but who knows what will happen between then and now?

          • Nicer guy? The guy hardly talks. Obviously you are referring to the way the Conservatives play hard ball politics. These are not a pile of school girls. All politicians want to win and they will do what they think they need to do to win. If the robo call thing was so straightforward then EC would have got to the bottom of it by now. The Senators who have screwed up are responsible for their own actions. Harper appointed them in good faith and I would defy anybody to show evidence in their backgrounds which would have led Harper to believe that Duffy, Wallin or even Brazeau would cook their expenses. You are right though. There will be a lot water under the bridge by 2015. There are only three people who can be PM. That is the kid born with the silver spoon in his mouth and has no idea what life is all about and the socialist who would tax the middle class to death with direct and hidden taxes.

          • Or the liar and thief who has done nothing for Canada………..

          • Harper? The guy that fixed the election? You’re holding HIM up as a winner?

            Harper didn’t win, he cheated.

            Harper will forever have an asterisk by his name.

          • Now who is lying. There is lots of speculation but there is no evidence. Lot of smoke but no fire. If it proves true in court the party and Harper will pay the price but the way it is going we will be long past 2015 before the truth comes out. There has been no one put forward saying they did not vote because of a phone call. Some Canadians my be naive but they are not stupid.

          • Yeah, all these electoral violations are just mistakes, minor whoopsies, oversights by some office lowlife…..mmmmhmmmm

            Doesn’t have to go to court for people to believe it H…..the ‘truth’ and Cons have no connection, and voters are now aware of it.

          • And if you ever want to see how “Liberal” they are, just try disagreeing with one of them.

          • Harper has made sure he’ll get away with it by stacking the SCC with more trained seals. 38% of Canadian voters were naive and stupid in 2011. I highly doubt they will be again and many more Canadians will vote in 2015 to rid us of the current regime, if they’re allowed to exercise that right unhampered.

          • Emily, the number of ridings that are implicated in that robocall affair would not have been enough to make a difference the last election. So quit the delusional, hyperbolic BS.

          • Rock, under our system it takes very little to move from minority to majority….so give the excuses a rest.

          • Anything touted by a loser is itself a loser. Poor old Justine isn’t looking too good if you’re his pusher.

            Personally I’d vote for a dishonest, dissolute Jack Layton before I’d ever vote for an acting school phony like Justine.

          • Emily, I can only conclude from that comment that you find basic mathematics to be “hard”.

          • You conclude a lot of nonsense from perfectly ordinary English.

          • 200+ ridings is plenty enough to make a difference out of 308.

          • Um… most Canadians have never voted for Harper and remain unlikely to. We have been governed, for decades, by the largest minority vote. The question is: Can Harper luck out on the vote split yet again?

            And you’re right; Harper is no Mulroney. Didn’t particularly like him, but he was better than Harper by a good margin. The man had courage and vision, and never ran and hid from a fight.

          • You Harper lovers have blinders on and are not looking at the facts. I don’t hate Harper, I have never met the man so I can’t say love or hate. What I can say is that as PM he has proven to be an inept coward who has manipulated and lied to all of us and has done more damage to this country than anyone in it’s history ever has. If you could drop the blinders and look at the facts without bias pertaining to all he has done as PM you too would see the damage he has done.

          • Harper is no Mulroney, he’s far worse.

      • you can put all the policies and give all the right answers the taxpayers or citizens(or consumers) want to hear all day long everyday, but if your not genuine and you lack character, you aint getting elected. tom or harper just don’t have character, and their not genuine(harper and tom pander all the time),at least when you talk and see trudeau, you have the chance to look in his eyes to know weather he is being genuine(looking in someones eyes can show if a person is truly genuine, its when they look away, they have something to hide). they(harper @ tom) also have a certain look of distrust about them. its hard to gain trust back, if you loose it to start with. I call all these type articles by authors, sympathy articles. the authors feel sympathy for all the bad stories they have to or have been written about these politicians.

        • I know I spelled whether wrong.

        • Whatever you said. I refuse to read anything from a poster that refuses to capitalize or punctuate. Call it an idiosyncrasy of mine.

          • ee cummings

          • Whatever, if the poster is too lazy to hit a shift key or an enter key, then I guess I’m too lazy to bother reading it.

          • That much of an effort for you eh?

          • I thought you were all about education. Now you are defending someone who thinks it perfectly reasonable to ignore basic grammatical rules. Not to mention, that same someone who thinks he can tell “weather” (sic) a person is genuine just by looking in his eyes, which apparently he has done with all three of the federal leaders. Selena60 is right to ignore such posts.

          • I’m all for education, yes….and very little is shown on here.

            Being snotty about grammar isn’t a good substitute.

          • Selena60 told him she wouldn’t bother to read his post if it wasn’t punctuated and capitalized properly. That’s not being snotty, that’s letting someone know that if they want to be read, they’ll need to put some effort in their posts.

          • Content is more important than presentation….and this is a chatsite not a courtroom.

          • Yet most of us manage some semblance of grammar and punctuation, or at least make the effort.

          • Great! Sounds good to me. If these standards would apply to the Education System as a whole, very few diplomas would be given out! Then we could all be spared the wanking of how the only jobs young adults can find is at McDonalds!

          • Oh, ee cummings, the great poet, I remember her:

            In days of old when men were bold
            And Emily twern’t invented
            You pulled a sock over your squawk
            And nonsense was prevented

            But now we’re cooked
            And driven qweer
            By the thoughts of bilge
            From Emily dear

            between fat-b cheeks
            of bestial em
            many strong men
            barph their cookies

          • bell hooks

            There’s an example more to your liking. :)

          • You must of read the post, you bonehead, or you wouldn’t of been able to make your point. I’m glad I don’t suffer from the same mental illness as you(idiosyncrasy). You should seek help for that..

          • Good punctuation and capitalization…I knew you could do it if you tried. Now, try more often.

          • Though you managed to overlook root’s use of “of” for have (or ‘ve, as that’s the phoneme being misspelled).

          • And now in root canal style:

            you must have read the post you bonehead or you wouldn’t have been able to make your point i’m glad I don’t suffer from the same mental illness as you(idioscyncrasy) you should seek help for that.

          • Of course, you are entitled to think so, but I have to ask: in what ways do you find Trudeau phony? He seems pretty down to earth to me — do you mean phony as in harper’s smile phony?

          • I don’t trust Justine because he looks exactly like the mother, and look what she did to us.

            She took the most loved Prime Minister we’ve ever had and made a fool of him with the Rolling Stones.

            After that stunt Madame Chiang Kai-Shek used to laugh every time she looked at him.

          • You in the closet again? Your nurse is looking for you

          • Emily for Pete sake I’m not like you. I can’t sit in the damn closet hour after hour, day after day, banging away on my tweeter with a toothpick.

            I’ve been at my desk all day, but right now I’m in the kitchen working on the turkey.

            So Happy Thanksgiving Emily. Don’t let any of those filthy Cons try to fix you up with a turkey sandwich that only has the Pope’s Nose in it.

            I’ll bet you didn’t know about Madame Chiang laughing her azz off at that loser Pierre.

          • She has a big needle with her too.

            ‘Nite Jamboy.

          • She’s mistaking you for one of her roommates.

          • Haha, I remember that and the third person was kind of foolish. He’s always been dramatic, but I kind of like that. I don’t imagine we will see him speak like that any more, but it was no more theatrical than Mr Mulcair’s “prosecutor” role asking Harper about Senate scandal stuff — just projecting different personas. Actually, that period has been, imo, Mulcair’s best performance as leader to date — but you know, jftb, it’s all performance when it comes right down to it, even harper’s cold pale fishy stare and petulance. It’s all what they want us to see of them — and if we don’t like it, as you didnt like Trudeau’s, that’s fair game.

          • Jan, thanks for the YouTube. Is Trudeau sick or is it just me?

            I’ve never watched that strange man do or say anything without wondering if he has a hereditary screw loose. But no one watching your video should have to wonder about it at all.

            Even before he get’s to that 3rd person craziness, it’s a bright light on a cockroach as far as I’m concerned. There’s something wrong with the guy. What we see here is simply not normal behaviour, he’s a weirdo like his parents.

            Richard Nixon was another political nut case who referred to himself in the 3rd person but you never got the impression that Nixon practiced it in front of a mirror.

            Nixon was more like this:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSYadh2xmcI

        • Where was all this ‘genuine’ stuff in Justin before he was elected leader? Was it in his fees for speaking? Was it in his parliament performance? His success so far has been on the coattails of his father. No thanks.

        • “…if your not genuine and you lack character, you aint getting elected.”

          Irrefutable proof you are wrong: We’ve had Harper as PM since 2006.

      • Lol, you’re dreaming. It will either be a Conservative Majority or Minority or a Liberal minority with the NDP the third party in all three cases.

      • Forget it Emily. Now that Demarais has pegged out the Liberals are skunked.

    • Prophesy is a verb. Prophecy is a noun.

      • My mistake, thank you for the correction.

    • well Liberals will just have to “not” prop up the Harper Cons in HoCs, and be willing to form a coalition with the NDP after the election. Unless of course, they are really Conservatives and go bk to propping up the HarperCons like before 2011.

      • St. Jack’s NDP propped them up too, on numerous occasions.
        I don’t care to put money on the courage of any Canadian political party.

    • A Conservative minority would probably lose their first confidence vote instantaneously. Either the Liberals or the NDP, whichever ended up with the second most seats in the election, would invariably form government. Perhaps in coalition with the other, but not necessarily so.

      • That’s not what happened last time.

        • Last time Harper prorogued parliament rather than face the music. The coward has done it 4 times in 5 yrs. and ran off to another continent how often?

      • only the CPC could turn and afford to run again – there is no more subsidy – think about it!

  2. Maybe not . . . Don’t forget that the Leader of HM Loyal Opposition est un citoyen de la Republique de France.

    • Born in Canada.

      • It does not matter. He voluntarily took out citizenship in France to enjoy whatever benefits that might occur to him. You cannot be loyal to two countries when you profess to want to lead one of them. He will wear this big time in the next election along with his socialist leanings.

        • Of course it matters….you’re lying about him, and you really have to stop doing that. People don’t like it.

          • B.S. I am not lying about anything. You just can’t stand the truth.

          • Yes, you are……and you know it. So don’t discuss the ‘truth’ with me.

          • Take a pill Emily. The fact is he is a citizen of France by choice. Show me where renounced his citizen to that leftist, socialist country.

          • Yup, and tomorrow he could apply to Germany, or the UK or Indonesia or any other country and have that too.

            Lots of people have dual or multiple citizenship….it’s just a piece of paper.

          • So now you admit I wasn’t lying. Fool.

          • You were lying about HIM….he is born Canadian, now also a citizen of France

            Here’s another shocker, holli…that makes him a citizen of Europe.

            From the UK to Poland to Finland to Italy to Croatia

          • That’s him Emily, we’ve never had a fruitcake like that ever.
            Jack wanted to pull the same stunt but the Croatians wouldn’t have him because he’d been busted by the vice squad.

          • Mulcair married a French woman and was awarded French citizenship, he never applied for it. Harper married a New Zealander, but wasn’t awarded New Zealand citizenship. So what? New Zealand won’t have to deal with the future extradition of a fraud, a war criminal and a despot. They made sure they can deny entry.

          • Well thanks, Tomcat, I appreciate knowing about Mulcair because I thought he’d physically applied for French Citizenship and been backed up as guarantor by Pierre Laurent of the French Communist Party.

            This business of being awarded French citizenship on account of marriage to a French woman is a very high diplomatic honour known as the Croix de Mademoiselle. You have to be a tough sucker to get one of those.

            You’re wrong though about Harper’s wife, she isn’t a New Zealander. Mrs Harper is in fact a Mohawk Princess and a great great great granddaughter of Joseph Brant, a de facto founder of Canada through his support of the British at the Battle of Long Island during the American Revolution..

          • Interesting since the American Revolution didn’t involve Canadians, as there wouldn’t be a Canada for another 90 odd yrs.

          • I never said he wasn’t a Canadian citizen. I think if you will re-read my original post and get off your high horse you will see I said he chose to become a citizen of France. Full stop. End of story. Move on. You are becoming tiresome.

          • I think you can just settle yourself down….you KNOW he’s Canadian born…..you were implying he was solely a citizen of France and he’d PAY for it.

            Then you got smacked around the court….so suddenly it’s ‘tiresome’. LOL

          • Sadly, he’s probably right, Em… the dual citizenship thing will likely play nicely to the same crowd that swallowed “just visiting”.

          • Well that’s even more reason that Mulcair shoud never become our PM. Not to worry, he never will.

          • If you don’t like his policies….fine.

            But give up on the stupid stuff.

          • Look in a mirror Emily and you will see the one who is making stupid comments. :-)

          • Well of course YOU’d say that.

          • If Mulcair applies to Indonesia, as you suggest, he might be able to move in with one of Jack’s old rub house girl friends.

            They all got deported back and some of them are probably old enough now to have their own apartment.

          • And it demonstrates divided loyalties.

          • So you Liberals now consider Canadian citizenship to be “just a piece of paper”? Personally, I take my citizenship much more important than that.

          • You should take your English seriously or the Raging Ranter will be after you.

          • Don ‘t worry Emily no one will go near you with the truth. Not without plugging their nose anyway.

            We’ve watched you Emily. When you hear the truth you lose control of all your bodily functions.

        • “You cannot be loyal to two countries when you profess to want to lead one of them.”

          Maybe you can’t, but a mature individual can easily balance the professional and personal obligations that come with a political office. Anyone who has a problem with dual citizenship is engaging in petty nationalism.

          • Mulcair for all intents and purposes admitted that his acquired French citizenship is citizenship of convenience. It seems to me that that sends the wrong message to would-be immigrants to Canada. As it is, Canada has a situation where some number of immigrants come to Canada not to build a life and contribute to the country, but to stay long enough to become citizens and then go to countries where financial opportunities are greater (e.g. countries with low income tax rates). To at least some of these folks, Canadian citizenship is viewed as an insurance policy or a retirement plan. A PM who deliberately acquired a citizenship of convenience arguably sends the message that Canada is fine with immigrants who view Canadian citizenship as citizenship of convenience. Now it may be that Canadians do in fact have no problem with Canadian citizenship being viewed like this, however, I suspect that’s not the case.

            Additionally, as pointed out, citizenship provides not just privileges but also responsibilities. And in some cases, these personal responsibilities can collide with professional responsibilities. For example, a dual Canada-US PM would be subject to US taxation as a US citizen (the US has citizenship based taxation, not residence based taxation). Part of being subject to US taxation means reporting to the US government financial information on all accounts over which one one has signing authority. Thus, a dual Canada-US PM would be required by US law to send to the US financial information on those Canadian *government* accounts that he/she has signing authority on. Not what one would call a good situation.

            This is the dry stuff on those US filing responsibilities (note “FBAR” filing requirements, esp):
            http://www.irs.gov/uac/Information-for-U.S.-Citizens-or-Dual-Citizens-Residing-Outside-the-U.S./

            This is a not-dry-for-a-second look: http://renounceuscitizenship.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/congratulations-to-francecanada-dual-citizen-thomas-mulcair-what-if-he-had-been-a-canadau-s-dual-citizen/

            This one mentions how having a US business partner can be “toxic”: http://hodgen.com/why-people-renounce-u-s-citizenship-for-estate-tax-reasons/

          • For a head of government, as Mr Mulcair wishes to become, this is a conflict of interest. If, say, a Canada-EU trade deal is being negotiated, a dual citizen will NOT have Canada’s clear interests on the table. Mulcair needs to renounce his citizenship.

          • pure bs, little boy.

          • Yes people who qualify can be dual citizens but to suggest that a PM of Canada should have loyalty (they do take an oath of loyalty) to two countries is silly. In the event of a dispute between Canada and France (think of Quebec separatism) there would always be a doubt as to which side “PM Mulcair” was taking. Dion gave up his French citizenship when he became leader of the Liberal party. Petty nationalism indeed.

      • So you’re a birther now eh? Interesting. I didn’t think we had those in Canada. John Turner was born in England. Did that invalidate his claim to the PMO?

        • I realize it’s Thanksgiving, but save the drinking until later.

          • Emily, what an unusual thing to say.

            I’ve never before heard anyone associate Thanksgiving with getting pi$$ed up.

    • Only Cons play the citizenship card. Really? Will you be going after his birth certificate next?

      • Good point. Wingers worry about paper.

      • This is a valid issue, especially for a Prime Ministerial aspirant. Mr Mulcair needs to renounce his French citizenship, The Americans rightly do not allow a foreign head of government.

        Interestingly, the U.S. President is also not supposed to hold dual citizenship, but–notwithstanding where he was born–Obama was likely adopted by his stepfather, conferring upon him Indonesian citizenship. This may be why Mr Obama has been unwilling to release his travel and college records (as past Presidents have), since citizenship data is listed on them.

  3. “This is an electorate that is risk averse,…..”
    Given the accuracy of that statement, why would the electorate even consider Justin Trudeau, despite the famous name? A pretty face and pedigree do not a leader make. Let Trudeau get some seasoning as the leader of the Liberals, show his stuff and then we’ll talk.

    • Justin is better qualified than a mail-room clerk.

      • I couldn’t agree more, but there is a better qualified candidate in Mulcair.

        • Canadians don’t like extremes. The left and right are both extreme.

          • Well that leaves Mulcair flapping in the wind.

          • Yup, right beside Harper.

          • Rofl, Mulcair is far more left than Harper is right. That is why he is PM and Mulcair isn’t nor will ever be one.

          • Degrees of leftness or rightness is a pointless exercise.

          • Yet you persist. You just reversed your own argument. This is common among bipolars.

          • Says the person who said “the left and right are both extreme”. Do you even think before you type?

          • Left and right are both extreme….figuring out the degree of extremeness is a pointless exercise.

            Do you even think before you type?

          • So by your definition any party that isn’t in the “center” of the other 2 parties is extreme? That’s a convenient concept for a Liberal to believe in.

          • LOL c’mon Ricky, this tired attack stuff is beneath you….go eat your TG dinner.

          • ,,,

          • History shows Canadians like the right and the little bit less right, as we’ve never elected anything else in 146 yrs. Brings us right back to Einstein’s definition of insane, doesn’t it.

        • How better qualified? Because he’s older, or because he used to be in the PQ Liberal cabinet? Both men are reasonably well-educated, and I think both are reasonably worldly, far more so than harper was when elected. Qualifications for a leader are nebulous things — and in this, Justin Trudeau has something that Jack Layton had, but that I haven’t yet seen in Mulcair — an ability to connect with people, to inspire and motivate people.

          It’s a little early for predictions, but I have a hunch that after spending the last 8 – 9 years watching harper avoid questions — and Parliament, coldly, arrogantly, and aloofly — that the next election might be more about who makes people feel better about themselves and their future — also nebulous stuff, to be sure. I have some admiration for Mulcair, but never felt a connection — and something seems out of whack with what the NDP are talking about lately. So far, I have respect for Mulcair, but Trudeau makes me feel good. I realize I will be made fun of for that last statement.

          If you care to share why you believe that Mulcair is better qualified, I promise to consider it.

          • Trudeau doesn’t make me feel good. He scares me, mostly because of how people are enamoured with someone who is there only because of daddy. And many of my friends and not even friends feel the same. Trudeau is there becuase of the Liberal dream that’s he’s Royal Jelly, but he isn’t Pete. He’s just another in a long line of Limousine Liberals, with a heft dose of nepotism thrown in.

          • We’ve had father/son leaders before….so has the US.

          • It may not apply here Emily. There’s a pretty big question mark over Justine, don’t you think.

            You always know who the mother is, you know what I mean?

            But that Madame Chiang Kai-shek, she thought Pierre Trudeau was an idiot. The only time the woman ever laughed was when she looked at that clown.

          • Re the “Justine” thing; it’s old, tiresome, and completely destroys any credibility you might otherwise have. Time to retire that…

          • All you have to do chief is look after yourself.

            But while you’re at it have a look at this thing and then tell me that clown fop doesn’t need a name change.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp_O3liJpu8

            No screwball Trudeau is ever going to ridicule me again and get away with

          • Oh, and that’s a good thing? How, exactly?

          • It’s not good OR bad….it just is.

          • I’d say that due to having been a LPQ cabinet minister, and a lawyer who opened his own private practice, and a person with several other notable accomplishments (http://thomasmulcairmp.ndp.ca/about), Mulcair is hands down, on paper, more qualified than Trudeau (or Harper before he became PM). Mulcair has a law degree from McGill, Trudeau has a bachelors degree in education from UBC. IMO the skills taught in law school would be much more applicable to running the country than the skills taught in teachers school.

            Having said that, I’ll grant that Trudeau apparently has intangibles that resonate with many people. They do nothing for me, but obviously do something for many others. However, I can’t see how anyone could say that *on paper at least*, Trudeau is as qualified as Mulcair.

        • Mulcair has already released a crappy platform (abolish the senate? The last thing we need is to remove another check on the power of the the PMO), and he refuses to allow free policy votes at NDP party conferences.

          Unlike Trudeau, Mulcair has proven that he doesn’t have the right stuff. Like Harper, he leads as an idealogue and a populist, and like Harper, his CV is superseded by the many failures of his policies.

      • Justin’s dreamy.

        • And you’re old

    • Justin Trudeau is fluently bilingual, knows how to build strong connections with the cultural communities, is recruiting qualified experts to his team (such as former General Andrew Leslie) and leads a party that has actually run the federal government before.

      Mulcair may have been in politics for longer, but there’s no evidence that he can build a strong national team or be successful outside Quebec. He also leads a party that has never formed a federal government in its history.

      • All that and he’s only 17!

      • Either you are kidding, or you live east of the Man/Ontario border .
        How many of the current Liberal MPs have been in government, not on the opposition side of the House…..

        • LOL there are lots of senior Libs in the country to take over from the incompetent Cons, and to keep out the Dips

        • Well by that measure, no oppo party can ever turf the current regime! Pretty sure that’s not how it works.

      • Mulcair can’t build a strong national team? Are you so uninformed as to think they won all of their seats in Quebec? The NDP won twice as many seats in Ontario than the Liberals did. In BC the Liberals have 2 seats to the NDP’s 12. And in Quebec it’s 59-7 for the NDP. The NDP even have a seat in Alberta.

        West of Ontario, the NDP have 16 seats to the Liberals 4. The only place the Liberals beat the NDP were in Saskatchewan (with 1 seat) and the maritimes by a 12-6 margin.

        So if anybody can’t form a strong nation-wide presence, it’s clearly the Liberals. First the Liberals abandoned Alberta, then Saskatchewan, and then Manitoba. BC see’s the writing on the wall and have all but abandoned the Liberals.

        The Liberal’s have always relied on Ontario and Quebec to win elections, but both of those provinces have lost their taste for the Liberals and those leftist votes have gone to the NDP while the blue-Liberal vote has gone to the CPC.

        The Liberals are doomed.

    • The NDP have never governed federally, that’s the risk.

      • Half the NDP caucus have 3x the political experience Trudeau has.
        No Lib leader saw fit to give Trudeau even a high profile critics position.
        So better lower that bar.

        • A meaningless point when Trudeau is now the one who hands out the critics positions. Leadership is the harder job, both politically and strategically, and his lead in the polls shows that he excels at it.

          Policy-wise he hasn’t displayed much, which paradoxically leaves him ahead of the poor policy makers who lead the parties to his right and left.

      • The Liberals and the Conservatives have always governed federally, that’s a proven risk.

      • No, the NDP have never governed federally. But Mulcair has been a high ranking cabinet minister in the Quebec Liberal government. Which I’d take over Trudeau, just because his party has governed the country before. All of the people who governed under the Liberal banner have left politics, likely because they saw what a joke the party was becoming.

  4. Aaaron Wherry makes some valid points, but he has cherry-picked the numbers. Most pollsters show Trudeau beating Mulcair on leadership. Abacus may showing Mulcair doing well on those qualities, but Harris-Decima, Forum, Ipsos-Reid etc. show Mulcair in 3rd when it comes to leadership qualifications with Trudeau and Harper in a close race for 1st/2nd.

  5. The B of M charged me $5 to transfer money out of my savings account. I guess they think if you have enough to save then part of it belongs to them. This account is going to a credit union as soon as I have the time.

  6. lol as if. the comox thing: out here is much different than back east. very polarized left/right so not surprising partisans of wither stripe are fanatical.

    still say it’s Trudeau’s to lose right now for sure. especially in BC.

  7. Trudeau will win. Not because he’s amazing or special or grand, but because the trendline is just terribly obvious. Canadians have a history of changing between leaders with starkly different personalities, and Mulcair will be seen as too “establishment” to be seen at the alternative to the Harper personality.

    Harper now has too much scandal baggage to have a chance, and a few attack ads referencing our declining economic competitiveness compared to the rest of the G8 nations makes his strength on the economy into a natural weakness.

    • Justin may be the media’s wetdream, but those of us trying to pay the bills and put food on the table for our families, have no interest in electing a silk stocking socialist empty suit who would still have Daddie’s trust fund to fall back on after his policies destroyed our economy and made us Greece Jr. Justin should be on E-Entertainment Canada, where the damage he would cause could be kept to a minimum.

  8. Trudeau will win because most Canadians that care enough to vote are insane, by Einstein’s definition. They continually elect the same two parties, all the while expecting something different. The same two parties that did the damage are expected to suddenly change their stripes and fix it. You’re delusional. Get off the merry-go-round.

  9. Why not abolish ATM fees altogether? They stopped giving interest a while ago, and have saved a heap on teller salaries so it’s the least the banks can do.

    • The Feds need to slap down the banks on a few issues. ATM fees are only one. Lending out large sums of money to foreign investors and condo developers, fueling the condo bubble, is a big one. A charter to operate a bank is a privilege and not a right, and the banks need to learn this. But there is too much regulatory capture in Liberal and Conservative governments–look at Jim Prentice’s plum private sector gig for Li Ka-Shing at the CIBC.

      • Yup. They screw savers over with paltry interest rates and high fees, then turn around and lend money to kids so they can buy overpriced McMansions at less than 3% interest. One kid I work with bought a $350,000 townhome (yes, attached dwellings in Ottawa are going for that now) and locked in at 2.59% for 5 years. Yet the banks refuse to pay savers anything. It’s abusrd. We are now rewarded for being stupid with money, and punished for being careful. It will not end well.

  10. Image being dumb enough to trust polsters, considering their track record. On second thought, judging by these comments, you may not have to imagine..

  11. Mr Mulcair is not Jack Layton–he makes Stephen Harper look warm and fuzzy. The party is out of sync with where Canadian opinion is headed on issues like immigration and criminal justice. The party is a few degrees to the right of the Liberals on marijuana policy. There are too many old Linda McQuaig-type Waffleites running amok in the party. And the Orange Wave was a one-time phenomenon, caused by Quebec voters’ disgust with the Liberals, Tories and Bloc. The CPC is still pretty secure in the House for now.

  12. First thing Mulcair should ask Harper is when did he start behaving like the NDP. Creating a Consumer charter seems to be very NDP like. Let’s hope it has some teeth. Now if the NDP can convince Harper to drop the F35 that would be something.

    • Maybe Mr Mulcair can use his dual citizenship to advantage, and convince the current PM to buy one of his countrymen’s planes, The Rafale is a superior aircraft. The Super Hornet is old news, and the F-35 is a costly Swiss Army chainsaw that should have never been considered.

      The Dippers have been a good party on a number of issues: consumer rights , healthcare, the environment. But they are also too cozy to public sector unions (in a very Vulgar Marxist way, not in the interest of most Canadians), and have a statist-paternalist streak, on things like gun control,

  13. Tom Mulcair is right – we do not have to continue drifting into the Conservative vision of a more -mean-spirited, patronage-ridden government and nation.

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