Tommy tours Ontario.

Whoever convinced New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair to paste that smug smile on his face should be cashiered out of the NDP. The poor guy looks more constipated than happy. Now that Mulcair is being exposed to more Ontario voters in this pre-election run up, we are starting to understand the man’s problems in the coming campaign.

Seeing clips of Mulcair on an Ontario farm with a heifer, we could not help thinking of those famous pics of Opposition Leader Robert Stanfield trying to field a football in the 1968 campaign. The one thing we always advise candidates is to stay within their comfort zone. If it is not you, do not do it.

The main point to this commentary is that many older Ontario voters well remember their experience 25-years ago with a provincial New Democrat government. As we recall, it was a disaster. Those of us who had to deal with that government for our business clients learned first-hand of the incompetence, vindictiveness and lack of understanding of their role in both cabinet and caucus.

While many Queen’s Park-knowledgeable Liberals were sympathetic to Bob Rae’s problems as Premier, we did our share of ridiculing his ‘Rae Days.’ Some of us had always recognized that he was a liberal in the wrong party but it hardly helped when he later tried to advance in the right party.

Mulcair’s biggest problem is the same as Stephen Harper’s. He has no depth in his candidates to form a government. Looking at the line-up of New Democrat and Conservative candidates emerging across Ontario, you wonder where any cabinet members would come from. These are weak slates in Ontario and both Harper and Mulcair know it.

And any voter stupid enough to just vote for the party leader had better realize that even Stephen Harper has proved he cannot run the government by himself—as much as he might try. He makes too many mistakes.

When you consider that Stephen Harper’s senior cabinet member from Ontario is Finance Minister Joe Oliver, you realize how shallow the talent pool is in this province for that party. Mulcair might have two potential members of a cabinet in Ontario but after that his search would be tough.

Conversely, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has a wealth of strong candidates for government in Ontario and across the country. And, in case you think Trudeau is not ready for the job of Prime Minister, he will have lots of competent help to do the job.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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