1. The Abandonment of the S.S. Mulcair:
When Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault jumped ship to run in a provincial bi-election the body count became 7 to desert the caucus. Then add a couple who left in the dark of the night– one charged and one for health reasons. And another handful who have announced they will not run again. Now, there is more former-Mulcair-NDP than would fit in a lifeboat. To shore up confidence, the Leader has announced a shuffling of the deck chairs. However, NDPers in Ottawa and across the country seem to have a sinking feeling – and this is not good as the S.S. Mulcair drifts into the election current.
2. How to position the Leader and Party against Ottawa’s phenonemon?
Some in Ottawa have pronounced Thomas Mulcair as the best Parliamentarian in the Capital. Many have noted how intelligent and thoughtful the man is. But these accolades pale in comparison to the Liberal supernova that has burst onto the Ottawa scene. What to do about Justin Trudeau “the phenomenon”? How does the NDP assert their position as Government-in-Waiting and their Leader as the most able Prime-Minister-to-be? Mulcair has announced sweeping changes to his Leader’s Office and to the election team and, no doubt, their mandate is to regain the spotlight that has for too long been on the Liberal Leader. We have already seen Mulcair make direct contrasts between his working family upbringing and his extensive experience when compare to Justin’s silver spooned existence. In the coming months, we can expect more direct comparisons to ensure the public understands the orange from the red shades of socialism.
3. Along with national daycare, what else do they put in the window (and at what cost)?
The NDP were fast out of the gates to announce what is expected to be the centre-piece of its platform – the $5-billion national daycare plan. (ed. – This plan will provide an important baby-sitting service for Canada’s working poor couples. Fully subsidized daycare is provide a better start for our young, allowing their parents to work more (so they can pay more tax).) So, now that daycare is fully accounted for in the NDP platform, what else will they promise Canadians? And with the federal economy seemingly in dire straits due to the falling gas prices, what else can they afford to give to their core voting constituencies? In the months ahead, Canadians should be holding both their breath and their wallets in anticipation of the NDP’s election promises and policy book. (ed. – To be fair, we need to hide our wallets from all Parties and their election promises.)
Tomorrow: By George looks at the Liberals.