The measure of Mr. Mulcair.

Like a motorist who has driven into a snow drift, New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair is standing at the side of the road hoping people will offer him a push. And, as he told Maclean’s Magazine recently, he is not going anywhere without a push. To get the push he needs, maybe Mulcair needs to hold up a sign saying he needs the push to get to a destination. Without a destination, why bother pushing him?

As leader of his party, Mulcair wasted the surge he inherited from Jack Layton. He spent his time in parliament showing off his prosecutorial skills against Stephen Harper. He wandered through one of the longest political campaigns in Canadian history confusing the voters.

Not even members of the New Democratic Party know where Tommy Mulcair is headed. He is intelligent. He is glib. Given some direction, he could even be useful. It could be that simple. Mind you we have to give him an easy road map.

What he really needs to do is realize that Canada is ready for a social democratic political party. The CCF and NDP are products of the 1930s. The union-dominated NDP of today serves union members, not the public. It is a hypocritical stance. Canada needs better labour laws more than it needs a union-based political party. We need rights for non-union workers, not to protect unions’ barriers to progress.

A union is a collective that creates barriers. Whether a collective of labourers or medical specialists the collective sets its membership against society. It seeks to protect its members and gain advantage for them. Unions would not be doing their job otherwise.

But is a society not better off to protect the individual rights? Is it not better in a society where nobody is left behind? A social democratic political party is the ideal mix of liberal individual rights and the left wing concern for the disadvantaged. It would be a society where we do not need gestures such as female equality in the Cabinet. Gender equality would be part of society.

Our advice to Thomas Mulcair is that he needs to think more about where the New Democratic Party is headed. His party’s membership could bring a strengthened and clearer direction to Canada’s Liberal Party. Combined they could address the pressing issues of our times.

True, the Liberal Party would lose some of its more right-wing membership. It is not that much but it has created barriers in the past to progress. A much stronger and more progressive social democratic party would promise a better future for all Canadians.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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