The Mulcair era begins - Macleans.ca

The Mulcair era begins

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Eric Grenier considers Thomas Mulcair’s mandate. Joanna Smith looks at the potential personnel changes. Mark Kennedy lists ten challenges. The Globe profiles a hard-hitting pragmatist. And Postmedia and the Canadian Press considers the prospects for a bearded politician.

Not since Mackenzie Bowell in 1894 have Canadians had a bearded prime minister, and Bowell managed the feat without actually running for the office. The Conservative senator got the nod when then-prime minister John Thompson suddenly died.

Bowell may not be an inspirational figure for Mulcair. Apart from his dramatic, spadelike facial hair, Bowell’s two-year reign was notable for him being the only prime minister to be forced to resign by members of his own cabinet, which he labelled “a nest of traitors.”