Saturday, March 24, 2012

And The Winner Is . . .

Who knows? Lawrence Martin writes this morning that:

Just a little more than a week ago, Mulcair was riding a wave of endorsements from party members and media pundits. Now though, there is doubt. You can see it on the faces of those in his camp and even on that of the candidate himself.

Mulcair's claim to fame, it seems to me, is that he can maintain the party's beachhead in Quebec. I have never really believed that the beachhead is permanent, because -- well, because Quebec is Quebec. Recent polls indicate that the Bloc Quebecois is making a come back. That comes as no surprise to those of us who grew up in la belle province.

But a recent Nanos poll suggests that half of Canadian voters might support an NDP government -- but that, of course, would require significant support across the country. Nathan Cullen is a very interesting candidate. He sees the obvious problem progressives face, but I'm not sure there is enough support in the party to back his vision.

Today's choice of a leader is crucial for the party. And it's crucial for Stephen Harper. The attack ads are set to go. You can be sure that the phrase "unfit to govern" will be repeated again and again when the convention is over.

Whoever wins will need to take on a prime minister who -- as  robocam proves -- will stop at nothing to win.


Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I like Peggy Nash. She has real connections to labour and the labour vote has always been important to the NDP.

I am suspicious of Mulcair.

I think Mulcair or Topp will end up the winner.

ck said...

As a lifelong Quebecer, I always knew that the Bloc wouldn't remain down for long. I especially figured that if Daniel Paille won the leadership, that the Bloc may win the majority of Quebec seats again in the next election. Maybe that's not such a bad thing. After reading something about Meech Lake, I remember one quote in particular: (Paraphrased) Meech reminded us that English Canada will never understand French Quebec and vice-versa. Parties in the past who have tried to pander to Quebec Nationalists and RoC at same time never succeeded. One only has to look at the SoCreds in the 60s and 70s, and of course, most recently, Brian Mulroney's old PCs.

Another thing both the NDP and the Liberals seem to be overlooking while concentrating their energies on Quebec (pundits and columnists too, it appears) is that Bill C-12 has passed. There will be 30 more seats to HoC. Most of which, if not all, will be in Ontario, BC and Alberta--nowadays, fertile Conservative provinces. No doubt that Harper, because he's Harper, will have a hand in redrawing the electoral map. Let the gerrymandering games begin! Those ridings will be redrawn in such a way as to give Harper and the conservatives advantages til the end of time. Yes, not only should the Liberals and the NDP spend their time and resources in those 3 provinces, but this would be another reason for some kind of cooperation, if not merger.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, ck. The BQ was not going to be down for long. Harper will, more than ever, try to isolate Quebec. He only courted Quebec for votes. He has never been concerned about the interests of "nous autres."

Quebec will give Harper more than heartburn. If the NDP and Liberals are wise, they will build a coalition that includes Quebec, before Harper drives the majority of Quebecers to seriously consider separation -- again.

Owen Gray said...

Given the results of the first ballot -- with Mulcair and Topp placing first and second -- you may be right, Philip.

But anyone -- including Nash -- could come up the middle between them.

Anonymous said...

At this point. I wouldn't blame any province wanting to separate from Harper. Canada isn't safe, because of Harper. He is giving Canada to China.

I'm for the NDP leader that can, chew Harper up and spit him out, in little pieces. Beyond a shadow of doubt, Harper is the worst P.M. in the history of this Nation.

I firmly believe, Harper is behind this election fraud and the robo-calls. Well over half of Canadians, did not want Harper as P.M. and he knew it.

Owen Gray said...

I understand how you feel. I fear that Harper is fueling the fires of independence.

He has already done a lot of damage. But, if he pushes Quebec to the brink, he will do a lot more

The Mound of Sound said...

Whoever wins is going to have to redefine the NDP. Will it go ahead as the centrist party that Broadbent warned of, effectively becoming a Liberal party? Will it revert to its traditional roots in the left? I think more Canadians would support it as a liberal party.

One issue the NDP dodged due to Layton's untimely death was the debate over whether to abandon its socialist credo. Layton was certainly steering the party in that direction, vaguely following the path that Tony Blair chose for Labour.

It rankles the old guard to abandon their once lofty principles to become what they once denounced but the party generally accepts that as the price of coming to power.

What troubles me is that, in shifting to the right, the NDP under Layton and the Libs under Ignatieff have immeasurably helped Harper achieve his prime objective - to shift Canada's political centre far to the right. And that may be their legacy, Layton included.

The Liberals were too stupid to realize that the centre-right held no oxygen for them. The only thing they could achieve there was their own demise.

Unfortunately both parties seem off-balance in their new positions which is also of immeasurable help to Stephen Harper. Oh well,.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Mound, that, as both the Liberals and the NDP shifted to the right, they helped Stephen Harper appear "normal."

Now that he's got his majority -- gained as it was by less than legal means -- a large number of Canadians (I hope) will rethink their own positions.

It will be interesting to see how both the opposition parties handle that shift.