03.10.2015 11:28 AM

Can Tom Mulcair pull it off?

I suspect my old friend Brad Lavigne is playing a bit of rope-a-dope in this fun Larry Martin column – after all, which strategist worth his/her salt actually announces their strategy in the morning paper, months before the election? – but it’s a compelling read.

Will it work? Well, here’s a personal anecdote I can relate: I am an Irish Catholic, born in Montreal, and I come from a long line of Irish Catholics born in Montreal. One day, out of the blue, my Mom told me she knew Thomas Mulcair growing up. Everyone knew the Mulcairs, she said.

“Tommy Mulcair,” she called him. “Oh, he was a wild one. We’d be sitting in the Mulcair’s living room, and Tommy would be crawling over the back of the couch, driving his mother crazy.”

“Were they rich?” I asked.

“Oh, no,” my mother said. “They had ten children. His father was a salesman, and his mother raised the kids. They were poor, like us. If you had ten kids and were Irish, you weren’t rich.”

So maybe Brad was telling the truth, eh? We shall see. But one thing’s for sure: if Thomas Mulcair plans to define himself as someone who comes from humble roots – and not, say, a trust fund – he will probably be pretty successful in that.


  1. davie says:

    In BC the NDP jumped into 2nd place in the most recent provincial election. Seems to me we received a bit of help from some federal ndp types like Lavigne and Topp for that one.

  2. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I prefer to forecast an outcome based on income tax rates paid by Canadians.

    Applying that metric means the NDP with its social-democratic principles, will take on water west of the Quebec-Ontario border.

  3. ajaykumar says:

    He is a career politician, the last thing Canada needs is a another “experienced politician”. Time for an educator. The NDP can attack Trudeau all they want, CPC is doing it since 2012. Hasnt worked. Canadians know him.

  4. No HOAG. Beard circa 1872. I’m out.

  5. Al says:

    Too bad he hasn’t retained more of his fathers salesmanship skills

  6. MississaugaPeter says:

    Read the article earlier and thought it was a realistic plan.

    Releasing the plan just got everyone here to switch the dial (momentarily).

    Hearing about his humble roots makes me, and will others, more likely to vote for him.

  7. graham watt says:

    Thomas Mulcair’s GGGrandfather was the 9th Premier of Québec, Honoré Mercier.

  8. Tiger says:

    When the strategy is obvious, revealing it early can work.

    Stephen Harper declared to Macleans back in 2009 that he’d be running against a coalition government, and reinforced it at every turn. Seemed to work for him…

  9. Paul Brennan says:

    Mulcair is just not a sellable quantity as leader..he looks mad all the time..

  10. terence quinn says:

    Tom is still a French citizen. Career limiting move if he doesn’t drop it. I think Trudeau has moved so far ahead of him it might not matter. No one wants a tax and spend guy who will promise just that and if he doesn’t no one will believe him.

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