01.05.2015 08:52 AM

Is Den Tandt right?


“Mulcair is the only leader of a federal party who stands a fair chance of losing his job following the federal election, tentatively slated for later this year.”

I’m not sure I agree with my colleague, who I almost always agree with.  Here’s a couple other scenarios:

  • The economy gets lousy, those criminal trials get newsworthy, Stephen Harper has a Senator Finley-less – ie., poorly-run – campaign, and he flat-out loses the election.
  • The economy stays strong, nobody cares about the trials, Harper again executes a solid campaign, and Justin Trudeau has a great big verbal flub on the campaign trail – or, worse, during the leaders’ debates – and he flat-out loses the election.

In either one of those scenarios, I can easily see the Tories and the Grits readying the gallows for Messrs. Harper or Trudeau.

What thinkest thou, O readers of this here web site?



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    James Calder says:

    I think New Democrats are more forgiving of their leader’s electoral failures, but I’m not convinced the NDP is entirely sold on the Mulcair experiment. Unless he stays at least Opposition leader, he’s out.

    If the Conservatives lose, Stephen Harper is likely out. I could maybe see a scenario where if the Liberals form a slim minority, he stays on, but my money is it’s do or die for Mr. Harper. He won’t want to campaign twice against Trudeau.

    I think half of the Liberal base believes Trudeau is going to win in 2015, and about half thinks it’s still another election away. I’m going to say, as long as the Liberals do better than the NDP, Trudeau stays in (win or lose).

    FWIW, Elizabeth May will stay on as long as the Greens win a seat.

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      Warren says:

      Just a hunch. Fall means going after the Senate expenses report, proximity to the trials, possible economic downturn (cf. Euro-collapse, rates going up, etc.). I’m often wrong, but my gut tells me Spring.

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        Warren says:

        And to you and yours, my friend

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    Michael S says:

    Harper has been in the job for ten years.
    Puppy PET gets a Mulligan given how low they are now.
    Mulcair won’t get the door unless he loses Quebec, and the QFL has become their friends.

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      Terence Quinn says:

      QFL has become ABH…they will tell their people to vote for the party that can defeat Harper

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    MgS says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Mulcair’s weakness is that he can’t seem to stop himself diluting his own attacks on the Con$ by barking at both the Con$ and the Liberals at the same time.

    Focus, focus, focus.

    I get that he feels that he has to attack the Liberals, but he does himself no favours by trying to do so at the same time he’s attacking the sitting government. He should be letting some of his front bench talent take on the “keep the third party down” portfolio while he focuses on attacking the Harper government as hard as he can.

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    Mark says:

    Agree. I’ve never voted NDP, but Mulcair is the only leader in my books who has done enough well, and pretty much nothing poorly, to merit keeping his job. Neither can be said for the other two main party dictators.

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    Tiger says:

    Mulcair will be fine if he holds Quebec.

    Trudeau will be fine if he wins Stornoway at least. (Or government!) Probably out if he stays in third. Which is slightly unfair — the enormity of the task before him is masked by his current poll numbers.

    Harper will be fine if he stays in 24 Sussex. If he loses narrowly, it’ll be a judgment call among CPC faithful if he stays (if he wants to stay) — I suspect he can win a review after a (non-catastrophic) defeat because there isn’t a potential replacement leader of his calibre yet apparent. (There are some among the rookie ministers, but they’re rookies still.)

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    patrick says:

    I think Trudeau has a loss to give, unless it’s a complete disaster. It’ll be a “learning the ropes” type spin and he’s still young and will appeal to the “change demographic” no matter what so he has a set base. Mulcair is okay because when the NDP drops to third most will think the party is just falling to it’s natural level and Mulcair is doing the best with what he’s got..

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    m5slib says:

    I think both Mulcair and Harper have fair chances of losing their jobs. Trudeau would have to do something pretty bad to lose his.

    Mulcair has performed ably, but people aren’t connecting with him. The NDP has been pretty kind to their leaders, but I’m wondering if Mulcair is NDP enough to merit such kindness. There have been a few defectors and stalwarts not running. While their explicit reasons for leaving might not be Mulcair, he hasn’t made himself the reason for them to stay. I wonder how pervasive such a sentiment is within the party.

    Unless Harper wins a pretty strong mandate, I can’t see him staying. A few people gave him good marks for his year end Mansbridge interview, but he really didn’t seem fired up to me. Even if he does win a strong mandate, I’d be surprised if he stays the entire term. That might be a good question for the Libs/NDP to float during the election.

    Trudeau has kind of become the party. He’s revived it with membership and fundraising – not to mention the decent polling numbers. Given the many leaders the Libs have had in the last decade, I’d be surprised if there’s an appetite to make another change.

    Of the three parties above, which have heirs ready to step in? I can think of a couple CPC and NDP, not much so for the Libs.

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    Joe says:

    Not wanting to state the obvious but – should any of the leaders really stink the joint out they will likely lose their leadership. Of course ‘stinking the joint out will be defined by expectations going in to the election which are based partly on the last election. PM Harper would be gone if he loses or winds up with a minority. Mulcair will be gone if he winds up with a half a dozen seats in the hinterlands. Trudeau will be gone if he gets the same result as Iggy. the only two safe leadership roles are the Greens and the Bloc because nobody cares.

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    Michael says:

    During the last Liberal leadership the consensus was that whoever was chosen leader it was for a two election cycle. Regardless of what happens Trudeau gets to fight at least one more election.

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    King Prick says:

    It plays like this:

    Mulcair: NDP to lose some seats for sure. Especially in Quebec. After watching his interview on CTV’s Question Period, I kind of was put off by his spouse. (Sorry, but it’s true.) Her presence in his interview was just a little whack for me. I couldn’t understand it. She’s a psychologist, smart, educated, articulate and wears a braid in her hair about a mile long. She’s just a little too Granola, Cruncher, Tree Hugger for me. (It’s optics.) Mrs. Harper on the other hand has vacant eyes and is more robotic than my Roomba. (My Roomba has a better personality too.)

    Trudeau: Says something stupid. It’s a guarantee. Here’s where he picks up points though. He can appeal to blue collar logic and in turn court the red tory vote. The gaffes will be well planned and will parrot some of the \Harper platform while attacking other parts of the platform as well. Harper won’t know whether his asshole is punched or bored. He’ll be confused by the randomness of the Liberal campaign. Harper doesn’t do well with anything organic and Trudeau will prove to be the most organic candidate since Trudeau—-meh…. Maybe Chretien.

    The Harp Seal: The Conswervatives have less incumbents running than ever before. That’s gonna hurt. People are frankly sick of looking at his fat ass each day. The party walks out of the election with a minority. Then he’ll become so disenchanted with having to do his job—cuz it’ll be work—he’ll step down and Peter McSway will become leader and attempt to move the party more towards the centre.

    In a minority situation, Trudeau and Mulcair will have only two options—Option One: Topple the government with a vote of non-confidence or Option Two: Figure out how to get their shit together with a coalition and take care of some business before turning back into the sissies thay are——- They could, for instance begin by a) appointing as many senators as they possibly can and b) introducing an omnibus bill that will effectively kill much of Harpers foolish legislation and egregiously expensive purchases like the F-35 (Which actually means Fucked to the 35th power.) They can look at government contracts and the many breaches in them by the vendors and cancel everything that’s been breached while under the conservative watch. (See F-35) I also see it as a good opportunity for the Liuberals to install Mulcair as acting PM. Why? Because he’s only going to last one term anyway. Trudeau can watch and wait. By pushing the country to the far left with an NDP government will make it even easier for Trudy to win a majority mandate if he can remain centre/centre-left.

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    Brachina says:

    People who count Tom Mulcair out are making a huge mistake, the polling following fad will lead one astray. He’s got talent, he’s charming if you give him a chance with a great sense of humour.

    Mulcair’s challenge is can he convince Canadians he can win, if he does he wins, if he doesn’t he loses. Its not an easy job, but it is doable and Mulcair is at his best doing the things others say are impossible.

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      Scotian says:


      I know this is late to this thread, but I feel I must point out something inherently problematic with this comment. It is not simply following a “polling fad” when you include the polling results of every by-election since Mulcair became leader being a negative result in not just electing but in percentage terms for the popular vote save for one. Not is it a mere “polling fad” when people like senior NDP stalwarts are not running despite this being the supposedly best chance the NDP have of ever forming a government, and that includes those like Libby Davies and the sudden recent defection to the OLP of the former national caucus chair that was one of Mulcair’s original supporters for leadership of the federal NDP. Not to mention several crossing the floor to multiple different parties since the last election, that is also a sign of less than strong internal leadership in any party I would suggest.

      I agree with not counting Mulcair out, but to minimize the realities he is dealing with is no better than counting him out in my view, and that, I’d suggest, is what this comment did and why I called it problematic. Part of the problem Mulcair faces is that while he himself is seen as competent what about his caucus team which will be a cabinet should he form government? Especially after watching the Party of One aka Harper government do not underestimate the appetite in the voting electorate for a return to a traditional team view of who is the best choice to vote for nationally.

      That is one of the underlying reasons I believe Trudeau has managed to do as well as he has despite his clear inexperience as a leader and by his own admission in times past coming to this job earlier than he would have preferred under less critical/serious times as these were for the nation and Liberal party itself. Mulcair may be strong, but his bench, in the minds of the average voter….that is likely a whole other story indeed, and that is not an easy fix. The Libs have got the history for governing experience to draw on, as well as still some legacy MPs from the last time they were government, and people like for example Scott Brison as a credible choice for Finance Minister, Marc Garneau for Foreign Affairs, and so forth, it is not so easy for people to come up with similar well known equivalents within the significantly larger NDP caucus, and that is a serious issue not o be lightly ignored nor dismissed.

      So I would argue the job for Mulcair is more difficult and more nuanced that the comment I am replying to would suggest it is, for at the minimum the additional reasons I just cited, and there are other problems facing Mulcair too, including having a bit of an autocratic managing style himself, nowhere near as bad as Harper but still carrying some of that echo nonetheless, which is likely why he keeps using this slight grin so much (which btw both my wife and I are finding getting increasingly creepy, he way overuses it in areas where it is clearly not appropriate).

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Isn’t it party tradition to allow the leader two kicks at the can? I’m thinking of Turner but am too lazy ce soir to look it up. Michael would probably have had a second shot at it had he not lost his seat.

    As for Harper, he will resign if voters elect a Liberal majority. If it’s a minority, he will stick around to try and topple it.

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