It is very funny reading the apologists for New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair. They claim he has Quebec in hand and now needs to win the rest of the country. That could be helpful if he could really rely on holding on to the Quebec seats won in Jack Layton’s Orange Wave. Tommy Mulcair is not Jack Layton.
Yet the New Democrat brain-trust tells Tom to paste a smile on his mug and go wow Ontario voters. It does not work that way. They forget that Mulcair is a born-again Quebec Liberal. That means he is much farther to the right politically than most of his NDP candidates. Another problem is that Ontario voters once tried a New Democrat government and did not like it.
And you would have to be really dumb not to know why the New Democrats took such a beating in the last Ontario provincial election. Tommy is making the same mistake as Provincial New Democrat Leader Andrea Horwath. She confused Ontario voters with her attempt at crowding the middle ground with the Liberals. She proved it did not work. Is the NDP brain-trust a bunch of one-way Johnys and Jills?
Another problem with Tommy is you really wonder if he is simplifying things so the voters will understand or do his handlers have to simplify things for him. His $15 day care might have meant something back when it was a Liberal plan but it is nowhere adequate in our large urban markets today. If Olivia Chow had any understanding of that portfolio, she would have hammered out a new concept with Tommy before heading for self-immolation in Spadina-Fort York electoral district.
Where Tommy is also running into trouble are the fatuous and undemocratic promises he is making. To shut down the Canadian Senate might be a popular idea but there is no way he can keep that promise unless he was elected God as well as Prime Minister. He knows very well that Quebec would never agree. It is like his assurances that he will change how we vote. Mixed Member Proportional voting that he is promising was the system rejected by Ontario voters in 2007 by a vote of two to one. Any change in how we vote really does need the approval of the voters first.
While the surprise win of the NDP in Alberta might be encouraging, there is no way the same scenario will go across the country. The Alberta Conservative Party and the further right-wing Wildrose Party duked it out and Notley’s NDP came through the middle while the provincial Liberals (without a leader) sat it out on the sidelines. That election was determined by factors quite different than this long-running federal election.
Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry
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