So we now have a Dipper that used to be a Liberal leading the NDP and a Liberal that used to be a Dipper leading the LPC. Interesting times!
Well, there's an important technicality that most Canadians aren't aware of - there is no NDP in Quebec on the provincial level. The liberal party there is centre of left, compared to the centre-right on the federal level. Upon close scrutiny, they are very comparable to the federal NDP.
Despite this fact, the conservatives are undoubtedly going to use this in their next set of attack ads, coming soon to a TV near you. And with repeated viewings, a fair chunk of the population will drink the kool aid yet again. The quality of our political discourse has gone down the shitter these last five years.
Nathan Cullen was my first choice, but I knew from day one that it would be Mulcair, because they need to hold onto the Quebec vote. I also liked Niki Ashton's pragmatism and youthful energy. But Mulcair's no-BS attitude is precisely what the opposition needs. And despite the baseless rhetoric suggesting he will move the NDP to the centre, he has made it clear that he will stick to the core principles:
-rewarding companies after they create jobs in Canada (instead of corporate tax cuts to "stimulate the economy," billions of which the private sector is still sitting on, i.e. executives' pockets)
-maintaining public health care
-maintaining our sovereignty (instead of caving to US megacorps or selling our natural resources to China)
-governing with facts and research instead of ideology
-long term thinking instead of short-term political gain
These are values that most Canadians agree with. It is now Mulcair's job to communicate this to the country, and focus on the things that unite us, instead of what divides us like Stephen Harper does. And perhaps most importantly, Mulcair needs to demonstrate how the NDP will be good fiscal managers, like they have been in five provinces. Despite people's myopic views of Bob Rae's tenure in Ontario, the NDP have almost always left a budget surplus on the provincial level. Not to mention, social democratic governments of the Nordic countries currently thrive with similar policies.
In the light of all the negative attack ads, spin and rhetoric, the most important things often get lost - facts.
The next three years are a major turning point in our history. If Harper is re-elected with another majority in 2015, Canada as we know it will disappear altogether. He's already half way there. "You won't recognize Canada when I'm through with it," he once said. And it's Mulcair's job to ensure that doesn't happen. A tall order if I've ever seen one.
"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinskihttp://www.queenlive.ca