As Nycole Turmel’s interim leadership is confirmed, there are anonymous grumbles from within the NDP caucus.
Despite the strong support Turmel has seemingly received from the party, some parliamentarians are grumbling that she does not have the temperament to be a thorn in the side of the government. But CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reports that these dissenting New Democrats did not openly express their views during Wednesday’s caucus meeting because of the circumstances surrounding Turmel’s ascension to the job.
“Nobody wanted to raise objections for the obvious reasons that it would have seemed unseemly to do so, particularly when Mr. Layton was listening in (to the Wednesday caucus meeting),” Fife told CTV’s Canada AM from Ottawa on Thursday morning. Fife said these same party members are concerned that Turmel could be overshadowed by Liberal Leader Bob Rae, who is a proven performer in the House of Commons and a better-known personality with Canadians. “They think this could be a gift for Bob Rae and that Canadians will see him as the official leader of the Opposition,” Fife said.
This assumes, of course, that Mr. Layton won’t be back for September 19 and that Ms. Turmel will, consequently, have to lead the NDP in the House. (One thought: Even if Mr. Layton remains absent, does that necessarily mean Ms. Turmel has to lead the opposition’s questions each afternoon?)
Meanwhile, Robert Fife also reports that Conservatives are trying to tattle on Thomas Mulcair. That Mr. Mulcair talked to the Conservatives (and Liberals) before running for the NDP is already a matter of public record.