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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  1. Mulcair's biggest misstep was to say he would balance the budget, in an attempt to appeal to undecided Cons.

    1. hi David...yes that was his most obvious mistake that helped set Justin Trudeau apart from him. But his whole campaign was one miserable failure after the other...

  2. Anonymous8:49 AM

    And let's not forget his admiration for Maggie Thatcher.

    1. hi anon...yes, that should have been a warning, for no real left-winger could ever admire Thatcher. And I personally loather her with every bone in my body....

  3. Anonymous9:48 AM

    "but from Conservatives and Liberals as well, a seemingly unanimous expression of appreciation."
    Yep! Utter appreciation that he ran such a loser campaign that he turned the winning opposition party into a total has-been, wannabe party. Of course they appreciated that!
    I hear that tommy wants to merge the ndp with the greens now just so the party doesn't utterly disappear under his "leadership". ;-)

    1. hi anon...yes, but the Liberals were happier than the Cons. For don't forget they were counting on the NDP splitting the vote, and when the NDP collapsed so did the Cons...

  4. Anonymous10:56 AM

    I would have thought Mulcair would be smarter then what he displayed. He has to go. He is as bad as Harper was and his support will dwindle like a hurricane through the fault of his own. He is a disaster waiting to happen. He will never be PM material. So big deal, he is a lawyer with no idea of what he is doing. He will drown like Harper did and I am guessing by a lot of the NDP supporters as well.


    1. hi Irene...Mulcair is a smart man, but he has been a professional politician for twenty years, so I guess he just can't let go. But nobody should be under any illusion, he's not acting for the good of his party, but only for the good of Tom...

  5. Contrast Mulcair's return to the house to Harper's. Hilarious.

    1. hi rumleyfips...yes Mulcair did behave more honourably than our disgraced former leader, who has only proved to be what we we always suspected he was, a miserable coward...

  6. Holy crap Simon of course Tom is going after Trudeau, Trudeau is Prime Minister, that's Tom's job,at least for now, to hold Trudeau's feet to the fire!!!

    Should Mulcair be attack nonPrime Minister Rona Ambrose? No that wouldn't make sense, she's not in charge.

    Its like you don't understand one if the most basic functions and jobs of opposition parties, to hold the government, whoever that might be, to account.

    If Tom had won instead Trudeau would be holding him to account and rightfully so.

    1. Anonymous4:31 PM

      If only tommy were in charge of a real opposition party instead of a rudderless little skiff that used to be known as the NDP, then that would make sense. At this point, the NDP is like a yapping little dog that tries to bite you but only succeeds in fraying your pants leg...
      so annoying but harmless and pretty much irrelevant.

    2. Anonymous8:02 PM

      Yes it is his job as you stated. But he made a complete ass of himself. If the NDP want to be relevant in Parliament, they have to rid themselves of Angry Tommy.


    3. hi Gyor...I'm not suggesting that he shouldn't criticize the Trudeau government. I'm just saying that Mulcair is not the right man to do that, because while his snarling attacks on Harper worked, and I must admit I enjoyed them. Trudeau is different, and the more aggressively you attack him the more he can make you look bad. Why do you think the Cons spent gazillions attacking him and failed so miserably?
      It's like the paper,scissors, rock game. The rock might smash the scissors, but the paper can wrap the rock like a candy. The NDP needs a new generation leader who can criticize Trudeau without looking like an angry old man on a porch shaking his walking stick at passersby...

  7. Anonymous8:21 PM

    Simon, I don't hold Mulcair totally responsible for the NDP's failure in the last election. I put more blame on his advisers who did not effectively use his "question period" tact against the Harperites instead of Trudeau. It appeared that Mulcair's "angry Tom" image was one that his handlers wanted to curtail and that was not the right move. I also wonder if Brian Topp's influence was detrimental to the party, because in BC's last election Adrian Dix did not stand up the barrage of misinformation spewed by the BC Liberals and Main Stream Media. My understanding is that latter strategy was influenced by Topp.

    Insisting on a balanced budget was not a good strategy.

    The one thing I am thankful for though is the defeat of the odious Harper Regime. There was a risk of splitting the vote and the Harperites could have been re-elected.

    1. hi anon...yes no doubt his advisers led him astray, but as the leader he had the final say. And I can't imagine anyone forcing Tom to do what he didn't feel comfortable doing. But yes, you're right, something good did come out of it. The Cons were counting on a vote split, and when that didn't happen, they had no plan B....

  8. e.a.f.10:29 PM

    Mulcair isn't gone yet.

    many who once voted NDP. voted Liberal this time. partial due to strategic voting. part of it was a new style leader. The fact Ambrose has a higher score than Mulcair isn't unusual. The Cons have usually hold onto their core.

    We have had other federal Liberal governments which did well but it was frequently because the NDP kept hammering at them. so Mulcair, in my opinion is doing his job.

    A.; 8:21 p.m. Yes, there are those of us in B.C. who believe had Dix used some one else besides Topp, he could/would have won the election. A good campaign manager would not have let the candidate go off message and that is what Dix did. In the case of Mulcair, they didn't use what he had to the full advantage and what they did use, they used on the wrong guy. Topp was in a company which had "partners" who worked for other parties. Personally never saw that as a winning proposition. I do know Notley used Gerry Scott in her campaign and she won.

    part of the problem is the NDP can't be all things to all people and given the many factions within the NDP its going to be a mess from time to time. Having the convention in Edmonton did not help Mulcair. They want a pipeline.

    What impressed me about Mulcair in the election was he stood up for women who work a niqab/hiqab, when it was very unpopular to do so. I'm sure it cost him more than one vote. For that alone, I'd continue to support him.

    Read the list of "potentials" and don't see them doing any better, although haven't seen the 3rd generation of the Lewises in action.

    1. hi I've said before, Mulcair was a good opposition leader when he was attacking Harper. But the same kind of attack style when aimed at Trudeau will not work. And Mulcair is not the kind of leader the NDP needs to lead it into the future....

  9. I have to agree with e.a.f. and anon above. If you believe that Mulcair directed the campaign and was the reason the NDP lost is a little foolish. Parties pay big money to have their campaigns directed and the NDP made a bad choice “again”. If the campaign directors gave Mulcair the right ammo, he in his very articulate way could have destroyed the opposition. Simon, you seem to have a big hate on for Mulcair and your love affair with Tredeau "the Harper slayer" is a little over the top. The job of the opposition is to attack the party in power and if you expect anything different you do not understand politics, just ask Raif Mair. Like you, I was happy to see Harper go but if you do not believe that “anything but Harper” made Tredeau the winner then I suggest you missed something. In my riding (con stronghold) (past – cons ndp libs other) (current – cons libs ndp other). Overjoyed to see Harper go but at the same time the apprehension of what a Liberal government would be like (from past experience) has proven to be what I expected. Like an unmonitored dog park, Harper left piles of crap everywhere. Trudeau comes along and cleans up the small piles (everyone smiles) and has done nothing about the big piles. He is like past Liberal governments, wash the walls but don’t paint them, clean the single pane windows but don’t replace them, make things look good but everything is the same. Why is bill C51 never talked about, why is the TPP agreement never talked about, taking back Canada from foreign ownership never talked about, changing us from a resource exporter to a resourceful manufacturer never talked about? When Tredeau changes something I really care about I will believe he is the real thing. If NDP campaign directors had pushed the socialist line rather than be everything to everybody then I believe the results would have been different. Canadians want to take Canada back and I do not think Mr. T will take us there.

  10. hi I told the others, Mulcair may have been badly advised but the leader makes the final call. And I don't believe his advisers were the ones responsible for pushing him to the right, until he was outflanked by he Liberals. And don't forget his campaigning style was also mediocre. On the day the election was called he read a statement to reporters, and then refused to answer and questions. He refused to debate the other leaders unless Harper was present. And in all the debates he did participate in he was outshone by Trudeau. And as I explained above, if he thinks he can attack Trudeau in the same manner he attacked Harper he is gravely mistaken, as the Cons themselves found out with their never-ending attack ads which ended hurting them more than they did Justin.
    And whatever you may think of Trudeau, he is at this time at least one of the most popular politicians this country has ever known. There is a reason for that. And all those who have underestimated him have ended up badly..