After a video that posed several themes and one question (“Who Will Stop Harper?”) and led by a half dozen drummers, Tom Mulcair walked along a winding line of supporters in black t-shirts emblazoned with his preferred hashtag (#TM4PM). The cameras swarmed around him. He wore an orange flower on his lapel and a giddy grin on his face. His supporters chanted his name. It was a fine show, though perhaps one that went a bit long.
By the time he was called to the stage, his time was apparently short. He commended himself on a “positive, upbeat” campaign. “My only adversary,” he said, “sits across from me in the House of Commons.” He proceeded quickly with a recitation of the Harper government’s failings, from the UN security council to the Canadian Wheat Board to robocalls, from the demise of collective bargaining to the declining fortunes of the middle class. Hastily he recalled his efforts in replacing a Parti Quebecois government—”I know what we’re facing. I know what needs to be done”—and he promised a better tomorrow. And then he was done, apparently shortly before organizers might’ve been compelled to cut him off. All or most of it committed to the record, the drums banged again and his horde broke into chants of “ole, ole, ole” as if cheering a Habs victory.