Mulcair: Canada’s pseudo Johnny Appleseed.

Tom Mulcair’s role for Canada’s New Democrats seems to include wearing a forced smile and offering band-aid solutions to problems. Other than his strange arithmetic about day care, he is spreading seeds of programs rather than anything that might bear fruit in the foreseeable future. To most voters he remains an unknown, an enigma.

In trying to explain Tom Mulcair, you need to understand his background as a lawyer, a provincial Liberal Member of the National Assembly and as a federal New Democrat in Quebec. He was a prickly environmentalist in the Charest Liberal Government in Quebec and quit the cabinet when he accused Charest of demoting him.

When he won Outremont riding in Montreal for the NDP in a 2007 by-election, he became the only NDP MP from Quebec and Deputy Leader of the Party for Quebec.

It was 2011 when Thomas Mulcair was joined by another 58 newly-elected NDP MPs from Quebec. He was neither mentor, nor leader, nor inspiration to them. They were drawn in by Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair is no Jack Layton.

Where Mulcair did prove best was in his methodical and persistent prosecution of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the House of Commons. The NDP Leader took his role as Leader of the Opposition seriously and he was relentless. This performance was wasted on the majority of Canadians but convinced the news media of his potential for more.

But why we would want a prosecutor as prime minister is a good question?

All Mulcair has proved in the first month of the election campaign is that he is not bothering to add up his promises and yet he is promising a balanced budget on which even Stephen Harper has gone silent.

The real irony of Mulcair’s campaign for the NDP is that it smacks of the confusion caused by Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s campaign last year that gave the Wynne Liberals a majority mandate. In trying to replace the Liberal Party’s traditional place in Canadian politics, Mulcair is campaigning further and further to the right of his rivals. He actually sounds like Stephen Harper in some of his more smarmy moments.

But as noted, Tom Mulcair is not Jack Layton. Layton was a socialist, posing as a populist. Tom Mulcair is a right-wing Quebec Liberal posing as a socialist-environmentalist, running as a concerned conservative.


Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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