Justin Trudeau is a very lucky man. Oh I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve his win. I am ecstatic about the election last Monday, and as mentioned previously, had a Liberal sign on my lawn.
But our democracy needs a genuine conversation among the parties. That isn’t about to happen for awhile, and that’s what I mean about calling JT a lucky man.
- Conservatives? Harper has resigned. The Conservative Party may leap into a leadership battle. Doug Ford has made noise about being the next leader. In the meantime, however, this party is not going to be able to hold the Liberals accountable, which means lucky Justin (part 1)
- NDP? Even worse. Yes Mulcair is a great Parliamentarian. But his campaign was a disaster. I pick up my headline from a wonderfully incisive piece on THE LEFT CHAPTER
Whereas the Conservatives will at least have a leadership campaign if not an actual soul-searching, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for the NDP.
Mulcair will be much more of a thorn in Justin’s side than the conservative leader, at least until they choose someone new. But the NDP are apparently in a time-warp, re-enacting scenarios we have seen before. I am a former NDP member, having canvassed, having had my heart broken in losing efforts, and a man with huge sympathy for the NDP.
I believe there’s a culture of political correctness within the party that is in some ways very admirable, but also dysfunctional. Defeat is normal within the NDP. No I don’t mean they always lose, but I do mean that they lose more often than any major party. When you have 300+ ridings in the country and come away with fewer than 40 members, that’s a lot of defeated candidates, a lot of stoicism, a lot of expressions of gratitude in the face of heartbreak. Now look back at the past decades and you see a great many more defeats, more downcast eyes, more sadness.
Under the circumstances is it any wonder that Mulcair is staying on? This party of heartbreak and stoicism have a high pain threshold, a tolerance for agony you won’t find in the other parties. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, it’s a pain management strategy. Is the NDP really seeking to become a party that wins, or are they paralyzed by who they have always been: a party of pain & commiseration. No one in this party lays any blame on Mulcair, who was likely following the strategy he was given, ineffectual as it turned out to be.
But Mulcair staying on gives Trudeau a break because this party have decided to keep banging their heads against the same wall as before. They are now unmasked. Mulcair is no longer the powerful leader of the opposition, oh no. He’s been revealed as the inheritor of Jack Layton’s mantle who couldn’t nearly replicate that success, as they slipped back to where they usually finish: a distant third. Our parliament really should be a conversation among strong & articulate alternatives. We need strong voices on all sides of the House.
Now of course if Trudeau fails to deliver, Mulcair is ready. The question is, does Mulcair represent the future of the NDP? Or its past..?