Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Tom Mulcair's Sad Return to the House of Commons
In some ways it was a stirring sight. Tom Mulcair returning to the House of Commons after his humiliating defeat at the NDP leadership convention.
Standing tall and getting a standing ovation.
Two days after his fellow New Democrats made a dramatic show of backing over him, Mulcair appeared in the House of Commons, apparently determined to carry on.
And when the Speaker called on the member for Outremont to ask the sixth question of the afternoon, Mulcair was acknowledged with a standing ovation, not merely from his typically peppy caucus, but from Conservatives and Liberals as well, a seemingly unanimous expression of appreciation.
But in other ways, the sight couldn't have been sadder or more depressing...
For nothing could conceal the look of defeat, or the fact that he now leads a badly divided party.
Divided over their support for him, and over the so-called Leap Manifesto.
And although the situation has changed, it's still the same old Tom...
Still going after Justin Trudeau in the same way he went after Stephen Harper.
Even though that didn't work during the election campaign. It still isn't working.
More than one of two Canadians (52.3%) prefer Trudeau as Prime Minister while 16.9% preferred Ambrose, 10.6% preferred Mulcair, 4.2% preferred May and 15.6% were unsure.
And to make matters worse, a new poll suggests his gnarly leadership style, has many in his left-wing base now supporting Justin Trudeau.
Polling by the Innovative Research Group conducted at the end of March suggests core constituencies of the New Democrats have abandoned the party in droves, swinging over to the Liberals in massive numbers.
They lead the NDP by 24 points among the populist left and by 42 points among left liberals. The Liberals have the support of 64 per cent of the core left, against only 23 per cent for the New Democrats.
Thanks to Mulcair's decision to take the NDP to the right. And no doubt because many prefer Trudeau's sunnier, and more inspiring leadership qualities.
And the generational change he represents...
So I honestly can't see how a leader like Mulcair is going to win those supporters back over the next two years. Or hold his divided party together.
And I agree with Hassan Yussuff, the president of the Canadian Labour Congress.
One of Tom Mulcair’s most vocal critics in the lead-up to his failed leadership bid says the NDP Leader “should have read the tea leaves” and stepped down before losing more than half his support in a stunning vote on Sunday.
“It’s not the way he should have gone. It should have been on his own terms … it should have been more dignified.”
For although Mulcair to his great credit has been dignified in defeat. It was a crushing defeat.
He should have read the tea leaves, now he should read the polls.
And the best thing he can do now for his divided, demoralized, and shrinking party, is step aside as soon as possible in favour of a new interim leader.
Recognize that while he did serve his party well for a while, the urgent times we live in have left him behind.
And that he is not the leader who can lead the NDP into the future...
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