Sunday, October 25, 2015
Only those in the NDP can explain why Thomas Mulcair still has his job
Perhaps one of the most mystifying things in the aftermath of the 2015 Canadian federal election is that NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair still has a job.
Somehow, Mulcair and his inner-circle managed to take a party that was atop the polls when the campaign began in early August -- and sitting as Official Opposition to boot -- and by October 19 reduce the NDP to a distant third place finish while shedding 51 seats in process.
The NDP lost everywhere in this election. The party lost every single seat in Atlantic Canada; it lost in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and B.C. The NDP even lost in northern Canada.
And no one is surprised at this dismal result other than the NDP. Imagine that -- a social democratic party trying to run a right wing populist campaign that put balancing budgets ahead of its social priorities and no one bought it? Mystifying, eh? The only sad thing is a number of decent and long serving NDP MPs lost their seats because of this ill-conceived campaign.
One would have thought Mulcair would have resigned on election night?
Or, maybe in the days following the election an announcement would have come forward that he would soon step down so an interim leader can take charge and the party can prepare for a leadership convention?
Instead, towards the end of last week, the NDP Leader and his handlers started musing that he plans to stick around for a while and that he is in “this” for the long haul. Long haul of what, you might ask? Driving the NDP down a hole to absolute oblivion?
Apparently the party needs “Tom” to stick around because he is very good in the House of Commons and will hold the new government to account. Give me a break. As if none of the other MPs in caucus are capable of leading a third party in Question Period.
The whole raison d’etre of electing Mulcair, who is a Liberal, as party leader three years ago was that he could win. Now that he has failed miserably in this goal, why is he or any of his cronies still around?
Perhaps even more amazing is that if you talk to NDP partisans it is like the whole election never happened. In fact, according to them, the party actually ran a good campaign but the only problem is those silly voters just failed to see it. And they were really done in by the party’s principled stand on the niqab in Quebec. Tell me another one.
But then again, why would Tom Mulcair and his inner-circle want to leave? People in positions of power generally don’t like to accept responsibility for failure and step down unless they are forced to.
And herein lies the problem of what has become the shell of what is the federal New Democratic Party. The hierarchy of the party says, “let’s shift right, this is what we need to do to win,” and the membership says, “sure.”
The hierarchy then throws party policy out the window, dumps good candidates during the election and appoints others because, “this is what we need to do to win.” Once again, the membership says, “sure.”
And then when voters see through the whole bogus, misguided and unethical strategy the hierarchy says, “we really did run a good campaign, it’s just that the voters are very naive and they were once again fooled by the Liberals. What can we do?”
And the membership says, “You are absolutely right! When is the next party convention and who should I make this cheque out to?”
Thomas Mulcair, you can have your job as long as you want it.
Fraser Needham is a freelance journalist living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He has been working and writing in Saskatchewan for the past 15 years. Aside from the Saskatchewan CCF/NDP, he follows Aboriginal issues and politics closely.
See also: Delusion continues to rule the day in Mulcair NDP
See also: Doubling down on disaster
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