SHOULD MULCAIR RUN?

Sometime today Thomas Mulcair will announce whether he will run for the NDP leadership.

If he decides not to run, the air will go out of the leadership race and Brian Topp will win in a walk.  This will deprive the NDP of an exciting race in which to sign up new members.

But if Mulcair decides to run there is no guarantee that he will win. Far from it. Each member has one vote for leader. There are 90,000 NDP members.  All but 1800 of these reside outside Quebec. That is two per cent. It will be an enormous challenge for Muclair to build up a majority from this tiny base.

Furthermore Mulcair is perceived by many as an over-aggressive , abrasive politician who takes no prisoners.

Ed Broadbent and Roy Romnanow are already supporting Topp who has a large lead.  Topp’s leading problem is that he has never had any public elected office and does not have a seat in Parliament.

Should Mulcair run?

What do you think?

13 Comments »

  1. 1
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Whomever runs for the NDP leadership must go on record on the Sherbrooke Declaration:

    http://m.facebook.com/NDPSherbrookeDeclaration?_rdr

  2. 2

    “Topp’s leading problem is that he has never had any public elected office and does not have a seat in Parliament.”

    That has never been any kind of problem in Canadian politics, so why should it be a problem now?

  3. 3
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Lady Janus,

    It’s been a problem dozens of times. When John Tory was leader of the Tory party in Ontario, he lacked a seat in the legislature. He ran in a by-election was soundly defeated. End of John Tory.

    Same thing could happen again. End of Topp.

    Same thing

  4. 4
    Barbara Says:

    But when the candidate is the leader of the opposition in Parliament? What riding would pass that up? True, Ignatieff lost in his riding, but the handwriting was already on the wall about how the Liberals were doing.

  5. 5

    …and Kim Campbell was Prime Minister when she was defeated in her B.C. riding back in the 90s…

  6. 6
    Neil McKenty Says:

    I’m not sure I understand you, Barbara. The leader of the NDP opposition is a woman named Turmel.

  7. 7
    Barbara Says:

    She is the interimleader of the opposition until such time as a permanent leader of the NDP is determined. When the leader is chosen, he or she will then presumably seek a seat in Parliament. Probably another NDP MP will fall on the sword and vacate his or her seat for the new leader to run. You would be replacing a seated NDP MP with the future leader of the opposition. No riding would want to pass up the opportunity to have their MP be the leader of the opposition. Sorry if I did not connect the dots well enough.

  8. 8
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Well, Barbara I have seen many situations in Canadian politics where not a single sitting member was prepared to give up a seat for a leader who did not have one.

    While we are on this, it is interesting that front runner, Topp, has given no indication that he will run in Jack Layton’s open seat of Danforth. I wonder why?

  9. 9

    “It’s been a problem dozens of times. When John Tory was leader of the Tory party in Ontario, he lacked a seat in the legislature. He ran in a by-election was soundly defeated. End of John Tory.

    Same thing could happen again. End of Topp.”

    It didn’t stop Tory from becoming the leader of the party, did it? Having no seat is no barrier to leadership.

    “Well, Barbara I have seen many situations in Canadian politics where not a single sitting member was prepared to give up a seat for a leader who did not have one.”

    Name one. And make it a federal MP who has been elected leader of his party, which is in opposition. Barbara is right. There are probably a few members already gearing up to make their own sword speech to their riding associations; they’re just waiting to see who wins the leadership bid.

    “While we are on this, it is interesting that front runner, Topp, has given no indication that he will run in Jack Layton’s open seat of Danforth. I wonder why?”

    Perhaps because he is not from Danforth? Why would he run in a riding not of his own choosing?

  10. 10
    youngshoutman Says:

    What is this ‘going on record about the Sherbrooke declaration’ all about – is it something to do with the venerable Sherbrooke Record, the local english language newspaper. Which is, INCIDENTALLY, the paper that Conrad started his newspaper empire by purchasing.

  11. 11
    Neil McKenty Says:

    The key element of the NDP’s Sherbrooke Declaration is that Quebec should be allowed to seprate from Canada on a majority vote plus one.

  12. 12

    It’s not just the 50% plus one thing, Neil. It’s the other section of the Declaration which got little media attention. And that’s the part where the NDP say they won’t use either threat or the use of threat to keep from declaring and following through on a unilateral declaration of independence which, by the way, would be in violation of both Canadian and international law.

    Chantal Hebert of the Toronto Star claims that every single NDP candidate carried around the Sherbrooke Declaration during the campaign. She strongly suggests that this is the primary reason for the NDP’s success in Quebec. See:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1057521–hebert-the-ndp-is-failing-quebec-s-distinct-political-culture

  13. 13

    I wouldn’t get too excited about the Sherbrooke Declaration.
    Politicians make all sorts of promises they don’t keep.
    In this case they may never have to.
    What irks me, they don’t explain or apologize either.

    I like Chantal Hebert, but I don’t agree on this one. If voters were so pro-separation, they would have voted for the BLOC.


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