For and against Mulcair

Ed Broadbent talks to the Globe about Thomas Mulcair.

“Leadership skills are crucial in holding your caucus together, and I think that Brian has an advantage over Tom in that respect.”

And the Star.

“It’s one thing to be forceful and direct and both Tom and Brian are that, they’re both bilingual, but in terms of demonstrated capacity at team-building, I think Brian is the better candidate,” said Broadbent.

And the CBC.

Asked whether Mulcair understands what a social democratic party is all about, Broadbent said, “I don’t know, that’s what I don’t know.”

And the Canadian Press.

In reality, Broadbent said it was Layton and his inner circle “who put money and resources and developed together a coherent strategy for Quebec before someone named Tom came along.” “It was the federal campaign in Quebec that got Tom elected in the first place in the (2007) byelection and then repeated after in the general election,” he said.

But Gerald Caplan, who managed the NDP’s 1984 campaign, endorses Mr. Mulcair.

I’m persuaded that Mr. Mulcair’s charisma (and he’s the only candidate who has this rare quality), plus the singular mould from which he’s sculpted, the differences between him and all his opponents and indeed between him and all previous NDP leaders – all these offer the hope of breakthroughs where they’ve never been possible before.

Put it this way: Nearly all the other candidates are in the classic NDP mould and will therefore largely offer themselves and the party in the classic New Democratic ways – honourable enough, but largely garnering modest results. Mr. Mulcair, in his very persona, his different political origins, offers something special. He embodies new approaches. It’s his value-added.