Is Thomas Mulcair Doomed? Will Justin Trudeau & Liberals Roll Over NDP in the next Federal Election?

Is Thomas Mulcair Doomed?  Will Justin Trudeau & Liberals Roll Over NDP in the next Federal Election?
Thomas Mulcair with this scribbler before becoming LoO
Thomas Mulcair with this scribbler before becoming LoO

CFN – Ah, I remember visiting NDP leader Thomas Mulcair at his offices on Parliament before he became Leader of the Opposition.  Those were sunnier days for him.    His momentum hadn’t reached its zenith yet and he was about to be a key cog in mounting the most successful election of the Federal NDP party.

Since then Mr. Mulcair has seemed to be spinning his wheels.    He’s been blown by the younger and more appealing Justin Trudeau whose Liberal party is aiming squarely for Middle class support which in Canada means Organized labour.

Mr. Trudeau appeals to a lot of the NDP base.  Quebec?  Check.   Francophones?  Check.  Young people?  Check.   So where could Mr. Mulcair reach to maintain his seats nevermind raise his numbers; especially without the charismatic Jack Layton paving the way?

MulcairRALLY

While the Conservative brand is near spent under Stephen Harper the biggest question as we inch closer to the next Federal election is what relevance will Mr. Mulcair and his NDP have?   Will they simply be the spoiler?  Will they be the key to a possible minority government, or will they simply revert to the NDP of the past and be the yappy dogs in the corner?

And if that happens what happens to Thomas Mulcair?

What do you think viewers of CFN?  You can post your comments below.

via medica

15 Responses to "Is Thomas Mulcair Doomed? Will Justin Trudeau & Liberals Roll Over NDP in the next Federal Election?"

  1. Furtz   October 9, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    Don’t know for sure, but right now it’s looking like Trudeau will be our next PM. The Harper outfit is buried up to its ears in Senate and election fraud scandals, and new details are in the news almost every day. Voters hate chronic fraudsters. Mulcair is intelligent, fair, and would make a fine PM. But he has a beard, so that’s a no-go. Trudeau has great hair and teeth, and he smokes dope, and looks like a movie star! I think he is pretty smart too, but we’ll see. The best things he has going for him now is that he’s not Harper, and he shaves his face. What more could Canadians want?

  2. David Oldham   October 9, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    The liberal party in England merged with the socialist party to form the current labour party long ago. After decades of never making it to the altar it would make sense that the socialist party in Canada (NDP) merge with what is left of Canada’s liberal party. After all both parties appeal to basically the same electorate. They would need to find a leader and given the current talent pool that might prove to be a challenge, but then both these parties know that it is an uphill climb to the top.

  3. Eric   October 9, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    I’m going to disagree with Furtz’ analysis. First, beard or no beard a politician’s abilities are not based on his/her looks. Some of the greatest leaders of the current and past world were the least attractive. Stating that someone will be a great Prime Minister based on how he/she looks is just disastrous and I certainly hope Canadians are smarter than to fall for looks. Currently, Justin Trudeau is not offering anything to Canadians except: a) he’s smoked pot, b) he is against the QC charter and c) is all for transparency. Neither of these is very earth-shattering, or can move the great country of Canada towards voting for the Liberal party. Some people who were ready to vote Liberal in my surroundings have already moved back to NDP. What concerns me is the lack of media scrutiny on the new Liberal leader. For someone who is reportedly going to be our next PM so far most Canadians know nothing of what he stands for. Aside from the three things I mentioned above, Trudeau has voted repeatedly in favour of Harper, doesn’t want to reform the Senate, agreed to CNOOC take-over of Nexxen and approves of Keystone. His attitude and policies line themselves too closely to Harper’s Conservatives. Why replace one broken government for another broken, barely no policy or direction untested government?

    While the NDP leader, Mulcair seems unpopular, what credence has Canadians given anything he says? The fact of the matter is, people have not given the time to really listen or understand what he wants for Canada. The NDP values and policies remain relatively the same as they did under Layton. As such, if you supported the NDP in last election, why would you change your voice simply because the face of the party changed? Corruption has plagued both the Liberal and Conservative governments for the past two decades. Could it be in fact time for Canadians to send them a real message? Honestly, I and many others are very well prepared to see real change happen. So far, the Liberals have not showed any change, but be prepared to see them run an election all about middle class and social issues but go right back to governing on the right once elected! Mark my words they will. Give Mulcair a chance. If he is in your area, meet at the town hall, or partake in an event while he is there. He is intelligent, has great policy ideas and is constantly focusing on issues that matter to the middle class. Get to know him by researching him. Don’t just rely on political commentaries, most are written by Liberals & Conservatives and are saturated with negative perceptions of the leader or his policies. Only way to get real change is to seek real change! Be proactive and educate yourselves on what Mulcair has to offer. You may be surprised and agree that he would be the next best Prime Minister!

  4. edudyorlik   October 10, 2013 at 12:39 AM

    Hey Furtzie, imagine that. We both predict the same thing. J. Trudeau wining. I put money on it already. All those silly young brain dead voters out there voting for him cause “he looks good in photo’s” , “he got his hair cut” has “a nice smile and good hair.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EudfDeValXI&hd=1

    What a freakin educated electorate. NOT!! Aren’t we so lucky? Almost as bad as the U.S.

    May as well just hand the French the keys to the country with dem Lib(French accent on the e)rals https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ER99jxZtgjY/UVm5BU_bQRI/AAAAAAAAAeI/99gdr9W31mY/w620-h349-no/Liberal+-+accent.jpg in there.

    What a mess. Voting to cut off your arm or your leg. What a choice.

    Oh, and can’t forget Tum-uhhh with the former leader having been a card carrying separatist and a myriad of French first / French only front line troops. Oh my gosh. This country is FU%^%&^ED

  5. Furtz   October 10, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    I was half joking about Mulcair’s beard, but it’s true that a lot of people are repulsed by beards. I know this from experience. Trudeau does appear vacuous and lacking ideas, but we’re two years away from an election, and most political strategists will tell you to save your ideas for the campaign and let the incumbent destroy himself as Harper is doing.

  6. PJ Robertson   October 10, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Who’s got the crystal ball? While Harper is busy self-destructing, the knock against Mulcair and the NDP may be lack of bench depth. In contrast; the Liberal benches have both experience and depth, and Trudeau’s strong suit is recognizing that (unlike Harper) he doesn’t know all the answers and therefore needs to surround himself with people of outstanding calibre, like former Lt. General Andrew Leslie who has recently declared for the Liberals.

  7. Furtz   October 10, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    You might be right PJ. Mulcair has a few solid and smart MPs and advisers behind him. Trudeau has a lot of smart MPs and advisers behind him. Poor Harper is now depending on Duffy, Wallin and Jesus Christ to keep him in power. The Jesus endorsement is good, but it only delivers votes from rural Alberta and Brockville.

  8. Edudyorlik   October 10, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    This certainly DOES NOT represent me…
    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ER99jxZtgjY/UVm5BU_bQRI/AAAAAAAAAeI/99gdr9W31mY/w620-h349-no/Liberal+-+accent.jpg

    Nor the MAJORITY ANGLOPHONE CANADIANS in a manner that a “federal party” is supposed to do…

  9. Furtz   October 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    A lot of political junkies who are smarter than I are predicting that Harper will retire from politics (to spend more time with his family) by this time next year. I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who would want to fight an election he knows he’ll lose, especially to the Libs that he set out to destroy. A directorship at Monsanto or Shell would be a hell of a lot more lucrative and relaxing than moving back to Stornoway.

  10. Chris Gilmore   October 24, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    It’s amazing what effect a half a dozen opinion polls and some media banter can have during a political honeymoon. Justin Trudeau’s honeymoon with the voters was about as predictable as the shape and tone of the Conservative attack ads that were immediately launched against him; the Harper government has left a bad taste in the mouths of voters (most critically those 905 belt Liberals who gave him a majority), Mulcair is only well known in Quebec and Justin Trudeau has instant name recognition (he also looks better in photo-ops). But the real question is can Trudeau actually maintain that initial goodwill? My theory is no, when you put him in front of microphone it becomes abundantly clear that this is not the reincarnation of Pierre. Justin lacks substance, plain and simple. So far his “big ideas” for Canada mostly consist of public relations gimmicks and meaningless platitudes. He also doesn’t sound like a leader and his resume leaves a lot to be desired. He was able to garner significant media attention this past summer, particularly with his announcement about past post use but that should be put into context. Aside from the Senate scandals, this past summer was a rather news cycle and although it succeeded in keeping Justin’s name on the front pages for a few more weeks, rather than increase Liberal support started to decline. Marijuana is the only issue that Justin has even a remote semblance of substance on but unfortunately for the Liberals, it’s not an issue that Canadians particularly care about.

    NDP support on the other hand while taking a noticeable and dramatic nosedive back in April has since rebounded, the NDP has been generally polling in between 24 to 28% since late August. Well above traditional levels of NDP support in between 1993 and 2011 when it was indeed a third party. Some polls have put the NDP at only a few percentage points behind both the Liberals and Conservatives and nearly half of the Canadian electorate has indicated a potential willingness to vote NDP. Even in the polls were the Liberals have a significant lead (though still under 40%) it should be noted that the two parties are generally tied in Quebec. There is also a general media consensus that Thomas Mulcair sounds more impressive in the House of Commons and why wouldn’t he? Unlike Justin, Tom is a seasoned and savvy politician. The two opposition leaders will be judged on their performances over the next year and a half, not on speculative polls and banter from Huffington Post columnists this past April. In that competition I genuinely think that Tom Mulcair will emerge as the winner. He is clearly more qualified to lead the country, he has actual substance and sounds like a leader.

    Any attempt to predict the outcome of the 2015 election on opinion polls taken during a leader’s honeymoon is silly for lack of a better word. It should be remembered that the NDP was polling in between 35-38% after Tom became leader, likewise the Liberals had a significant lead under Dion and then Ignatieff. Honeymoons are great but they don’t last.

  11. Chris Gilmore   October 24, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    It’s amazing what effect a half a dozen opinion polls and some media banter can have during a political honeymoon. Justin Trudeau’s honeymoon with the voters was about as predictable as the shape and tone of the Conservative attack ads that were immediately launched against him; the Harper government has left a bad taste in the mouths of voters (most critically those 905 belt Liberals who gave him a majority), Mulcair is only well known in Quebec and Justin Trudeau has instant name recognition (he also looks better in photo-ops). But the real question is can Trudeau actually maintain that initial goodwill? My theory is no, when you put him in front of a microphone it becomes abundantly clear that this is not the reincarnation of Pierre. Justin lacks substance, plain and simple. So far his “big ideas” for Canada mostly consist of public relations gimmicks and meaningless platitudes. He also doesn’t sound like a leader and his resume leaves a lot to be desired. He was able to garner significant media attention this past summer, particularly with his announcement about past pot use but that should be put into context. Aside from the Senate scandals, this past summer was a rather slow news cycle and although it succeeded in keeping Justin’s name on the front pages for a few more weeks, rather than increase Liberal support started to decline. Marijuana is the only issue that Justin has even a remote semblance of substance on but unfortunately for the Liberals, it’s not an issue that Canadians particularly care about.

    NDP support on the other hand while taking a noticeable and dramatic nosedive back in April has since rebounded, the NDP has been generally polling in between 24 to 28% since late August. Well above traditional levels of NDP support in between 1993 and 2011 when it was indeed a third party. Some polls have put the NDP at only a few percentage points behind both the Liberals and Conservatives and nearly half of the Canadian electorate has indicated a potential willingness to vote NDP. Even in the polls were the Liberals have a significant lead (though still under 40%) it should be noted that the two parties are generally tied in Quebec. There is also a general media consensus that Thomas Mulcair sounds more impressive in the House of Commons and why wouldn’t he? Unlike Justin, Tom is a seasoned and savvy politician. The two opposition leaders will be judged on their performances over the next year and a half, not on speculative polls and banter from Huffington Post columnists this past April. In that competition I genuinely think that Tom Mulcair will emerge as the winner. He is clearly more qualified to lead the country, he has actual substance and sounds like a leader.

    Any attempt to predict the outcome of the 2015 election on opinion polls taken during a leader’s honeymoon is silly for lack of a better word. It should be remembered that the NDP was polling in between 35-38% after Tom became leader, likewise the Liberals had a significant lead under Dion and then Ignatieff. Honeymoons are great but they don’t last.

  12. Furtz   October 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    @ Chris Gilmore. For what it’s worth, two new polls released today indicate that the Trudeau honeymoon isn’t over yet.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/921357/liberal-momentum-makes-majority-a-possibility-poll/

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberal-support-in-polls-highest-since-2009-nanos-number-1.2187761

  13. Dunrogan   October 24, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    No, Mulcair is not doomed. Though it’s impossible to tell by polls two years away from an election who will be the winner. Trudeau is just shiny and new, say what you will about whether or not his honeymoon is over, but the fact is he has name recognition, charisma, and that many people have voted Liberal in the past, which has certainly given him a major spike of support. Pundits, especially the press gallery, are not used to an NDP Official Opposition, and willingly deride their support in favour of the Liberals. Remember in the early ’90s when Chretien support was in the low teens and Audrey McLaughlin was polling a 40% in Quebec and Ontario, making an NDP government plausible? Of course not, because that was all brief speculation based on the current events, which changed rapidly.
    When an election rolls around, there is no doubt there will be questions over Trudeau’s competence and experience. There is no doubt he is the most likely out of all candidates to make some serious mistakes. When it comes to a television debate, Trudeau will get savaged by Harper and Mulcair. On the policy front Trudeau doesn’t have any, besides marijauna. One of the biggest issues, electoral reform, leaves him on the wrong side of public opinion, and he will not present any real opposition to Harper’s policies or craft any substantial progressive policies of his own. And there is definitely no doubt the Tory Attack Machine will hammer him hard, because they know he is a bigger threat to the Conservative base then Mulcair.
    Mulcair’s worst case scenario is 50-70 seats, give or take. There will likely be a coalition, and until Canadians have a real say in elections through proportional representation, the system will remained skewed towards regressive political parties like the Conservatives.

  14. Chris Gilmore   October 25, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    I will admit that after doing well in nearly half a dozen polls, during the past few days the NDP has taken a bit of a hit in the last two polls, giving the Liberals a huge lead over the Conservatives. I reiterate what I stated earlier, Canadians have had very little exposure to Justin Trudeau outside of photo-ops and carefully managed PR stunts. This recent boost in Liberal support (and we’re literally talking about two, maybe three polls taken over the last few days) reflects Canadian anger at the Conservative government more than any confidence in Justin Trudeau. The guy has name recognition and the sympathy of media pundits but that will not be enough to for him to simply coast into power in 2015 if he doesn’t actually present any real ideas or make a good impression on Canadians in the House of Commons, my prediction is he will do neither. Have you watched his interviews? His attempts to fein substance on marijuana, the Senate and the Quebec Charter of Values have mostly fallen flat and some outright backfired.

    As I said earlier Canadians do not care that much about pot also his rationale for this convenient flip-flop wasn’t that impressive. The reasoning that legalization would somehow decrease consumption and keep it away from kids ( I mean who ever heard of a black market for a legal, regulated substance?) defies basic logic. Even if those arguments did sway people, as I’ve stated a few times Canadians do not really care about pot and seeing as how Justin’s major Achille’s Heel is his perceived lack of substance on important issues (Senate reform, corruption, the economy, foreign policy, etc.) being framed in the public mind as the “pot candidate” is potentially dangerous for the Liberals. The Marijuana Party has never been much of a contender for anything.

    A poll a few months ago listed Senate corruption as the issue Canadians most care about? What did Justin have to say about it? He’s against an elected Senate (fair enough, so am I and so are a lot of Canadians) but he’s also against Senate abolition, he favours the status quo. He even tried to defend that position on TV, urging Quebeckers that an appointed Senate gave them an “advantage” over Alberta. What ever happened to the platitude of not dividing people or pitting region against region? This comment completely missed the point as to why Canadians are hostile to the upper chamber and when criticized for it, Justin just stuck to his guns. The Liberal answer to Senate corruption? A vague commitment to change the way in which senators are appointed (details won’t be released until 2015 conveniently enough) and the cynical suggestion that the government should appoint “better” senators. Oh yes and the Liberals now post the expenses of their MPs and senators online, borrowing from the rightwing populist playbook. Only the expenses listed are incredibly vague, there are no receipts and Liberal MPs had months of warning to get their expenses down. Was anyone impressed by any of this? I doubt it.

    I will concede that Justin scored some points with his position on the Quebec Charter in the English language media but even that might cost him in Quebec, where NDP support has definitely rebounded and the two parties are tied. His rhetoric comparing the Charter (supported by a majority of Quebeckers, btw) to the Jim Crow Laws of the Deep South isn’t going to win him the love of nationalist voters (that includes most federalists btw). For the record, in 2015 it isn’t going to matter that Tom Mulcair took a week longer than Justin to condemn the same Charter, albeit with more mature rhetoric.

    What are Justin’s solutions to the other concerns of Canadians, he talks a lot about that hard to define “middle class”, inflation and higher prices for tricycles but so far unlike the NDP, the Liberals have presented zero solutions to the economic woes of the “middle class”. What about the gun registry? The abolition of which was opposed by the vast majority of Canadians, Justin doesn’t think we should bring it back. Proportional representation? Supported by 70% of Canadians, Justin thinks that’s a bad idea too. No strings attached corporate tax cuts? Opposed by the majority of Canadians back in 2011, Justin said in an interview with Peter Mansbridge that he supports those. So how exactly is he going to make the case to Canadians that they should trust him with the keys to 24 Sussex Drive? What does he want to do differently? Canadians aren’t stupid, they will start asking that question and pot legalization isn’t going to cut it.

    I don’t think the NDP has to settle for a “strong third” of 50-70 seats in 2015, I think we’re still a contender for the top prize even if we’ve taken a slight beating over the past few months. Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau will all be judged more than anything else on how they perform in between now and October, 2015. That will matter more than anything that’s happened over the past six months since Justin became leader of the Liberal Party. Justin Trudeau does not sound like a leader, his speeches are filled with annoying platitudes and from a superficial standpoint he comes across as immature in interviews. Mulcair definitely has his work cut out for him and he needs to aggressively grab media attention over the next year but it is absolutely doable.

    The NDP lost its momentum after Broadbent due to a number of factors but namely the Balkanization of Canadian politics, they lost their traditional base in the West (particularly BC) to the populist Reform Party and the frustrations of Quebec after Charlottetown seemed better articulated by the Bloc. Chretien also had a far more impressive resume than Justin Trudeau and less face it, he came across as being more intelligent. I don’t think it’s possible for Trudeau to outshine Mulcair on substance. BBQ photo-ops mattered more than substance during the summer but now that the House is open for business again, I think that will change.

  15. Chris Gilmore   October 25, 2013 at 3:42 AM

    After reading my comments I feel the need to mention that I am not with the NDP in any capacity just a long time supporter and activist during elections. Hence my use of “we”. Also forgive the typos as I am forced to write in a bit of a hurry.

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