03.27.2012 12:00 AM

In today’s Sun: three angry men

In democratic politics, every leader is a direct response to the leader who immediately preceded them.

Thus, Brian Mulroney’s folksy Irish blarney was a reaction to Pierre Trudeau’s aloof asceticism. Jean Chretien’s populist federalism was an answer to the Mulroney regime’s flirtations with Quebec separatists and corporate elites.

Paul Martin’s government tilted anti-federalist and to the right, in the way that his predecessor Chretien had been an unapologetic federalist and progressive. Stephen Harper’s small-town Canada, hockey-loving, Tim Hortons affectation was deployed effectively, and brilliantly, against Martin’s millions, as well as the two ivory-tower types who followed, Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff.

U.S. President Barack Obama was the polar opposite to George W. Bush; Bush could not have been more dissimilar to Bill Clinton; Clinton was completely unlike Bush’s father, George Sr., and so on and so on.

In politics, opposites attract votes. What, then, are we to make of Thomas Mulcair?


  1. MCBellecourt says:

    Still too soon to tell, WK, I think, but I did make some rather interesting observations today.

    In the House, Mulcair got right down to business regarding the disappearance of the manufacturing sector and the jobs that went with it, and Cons only had spin as a rebuttal.

    Then, on Evan’s P&P. Charlie Angus got right down to the point and chastised the Cons for their spin and bullshit, and Del Meathead answered with–you guessed it–more spin. But (and here’s where Carolyn Bennett gets huge points from me), she chastised the Cons for not even affording Mulcair a diplomatic welcome as Leader, but instead started attacking his character almost to the second he (Mulcair) was elected.

    A few days ago, it was Charlie Angus defending the Liberals in regard to the automated calling company the Libs used (to recap, Del Meathead accused the Libs of using an American co., when the Libs actually used a Canadian co. with a very similar name).

    And now it was a Liberal standing up for an NDPer (who also happens to be the leader).

    If we see more of this back-and-forth type of dialogue, who knows? It was good to see both instances, for sure, and perhaps, if that continues, it could raise the bar a little bit between Libs and NDP.

    The Conservatives’ childish behaviour stood out like a sore thumb today, as a result. You couldn’t miss it if you tried.

    I hope that the Libs and NDP keep this up–and I’m sure Elizabeth May might get her 2 cents in, too.

    Very, very encouraging. And, on the part of both Libs and NDP, very Canadian.

    Not bad for a Monday! 😀

    • Jon Powers says:

      You use the term “Del Meathead” while accusing the Conservatives of childish behavior? I suppose you were either being intentionally ironic, or unintentionally ignorant.

      • MCBellecourt says:

        Wow, you Cons sure can dish it out. Leftards, welfare bums, the whole bit, but you can’t take a play on a name? And not to mention how, if someone gets a hand up in this world, it’s a waste of *your* tax dollars?

        Cry me a river. Reap what you people have sown. Don’t talk to me about politeness and decorum when the party you support cannot do the same, and much less understand that what makes Canada special is NOT your brand of right wing cruelty to those who have hit hard times. It’s about time someone gave you guys a taste of your own medicine, and you’re about to get it in spades.

        Suck it up, buttercup.

        • Jon Powers says:

          Ignorant it is, then. Sorry if I made you cry. Now quiet! The adults are talking.

          • Cameron Prymak says:

            The sum total of your contribution is close to zero: getting whiney about a term made famous by Archie Bunker is hardly not helping.

            No humour, no insight, just a thin-skinned response.

            I’ve read the nonsense promulgated on SDA and other sites where they refer to PET’s family as larvae. Now tell us that you admonished your fellow conservatives when you see such breaches of proper decroum.

            *That* would be a contribution.

        • The Doctor says:

          MCBellecourt is demonstrating his “Angry Man” cred.

          It’s all the rage these days. 🙂

          • MCBelleocurt says:

            This from a so-called ‘doctor’ who thinks the BC “Liberals” are actually Liberals.

            Can you spell “Ken Boessenkool?”

    • Graham says:

      The disappearance of the manufacturing sector in Ontario can be put squarely on the sholders of one person:

      Dalton McGuinty.

      His ever increasing electricity prices have destroyed Ontario’s manufacturing.

      • Ted B says:

        Yup. For sure McGuinty. He’s responsible, in the last 8 years of government, for not only causing the decline in Ontario manufacturing 20 years ago, but for causing the decline 20 years ago all across North America and Europe.

        It’s bad McGuinty’s fault all the way. Has nothing to do with outsourcing manufacturing to super cheap labour in developing countries or the misguided efforts of conservative-supported corporate welfare or taxes or environmental legislation or weak leadership and management. Nope. All McGuinty’s fault over the last 8 years.

      • Derek Pearce says:

        McGuinty is single-handedly responsible for the under-valuation of the Yuan, got it. Somebody alert the IMF, WTO, and US Commerce Dept! They’ll give him a talking-to!

      • GPAlta says:

        The highest electricity prices in North America are in the unregulated markets of Alberta. Free markets fail the consumer again.

        • Greg from Calgary says:

          According to Ontario Hydro here are the rates per province per 1000 Kw/hr

          Quebec 68.21
          Manitoba 73.05
          British Columbia 82.71
          Alberta 104.71
          Average 108.07
          NewFoundland Labrador 109.86
          New Brunswick 111.94
          Ontario 123.55
          Saskatchewan 125.37
          Nova Scotia 136.23
          Prince Edward Island 145.07

          This data is current as of May 1 2011. Do you have more current data? According to this chart Alberta is below the national average and below Ontario and in fact PEI is the highest.

          • GPAlta says:

            Alberta power prices have doubled since this time last year
            and they can vary as much as 30% from one month to the next
            They are currently at the highest rate in AB history http://www.calgaryherald.com/touch/story.html?id=5794176
            And they are much, much higher in the north than in the south so the provincial average is misleading.

          • GPAlta says:

            I should also note that in Alberta, the power companies can charge as much as they want for “administration” which is sometimes calculated per kw.H as though there is more administration in sending a bill to a large consumer than to a small one, and the “distribution” charge is calculated to allow companies to gouge people in rural areas for using the grid that our taxes paid to build.

            So the “cost of electricity” is not all we have to pay to get electricity. In GP, you pay 7.5 cents per kW.h and a dollar per day in distribution no matter who you sign up with, and if you manage to get a power cost of 10 cents per kW.h, then you’re paying 17.5 cents per kW.h, and then there is the “administration charge” on top, which could be per kW.H or fixed, but say fixed at 6.00 per month.

            The cost per 1000 kW.h for a consumer of 1000kW.h per month would be $211. But the price of power can fluctuate dramatically, and it is reported to have reached 15 cents per kW.h in January, and continued to rise since. 15 cents would make that total per 1000kW.h in GP $261 and the “energy cost” alone $150 per 1000kW.h if you want to use the most positive spin.

      • Michael says:

        For too many years the price of electricity in Ontario has been kept artificially low. And we still don’t pay the true cost of electricity in Ontario even though the price has been rising.

    • Philip says:

      Conservatives have only two settings online: “blind fury” or “victim”.

  2. The Doctor says:

    Well, it’s not like any of the other candidates on offer was the Second Coming of Jack.

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      Cullen had the warmth and approachability of Mr. Layton….you dont get elected in BC’s north with ever increasing pluralities by being cold and aloof……and was as good a communicator(aside from en francais) as Mr. Layton, imho….

      • MCBellecourt says:

        Cullen has been, and is, immensely popular in my old riding. I’ve never had the privelege of meeting the Cullen family (he was first elected after I left the area), but maybe next time I get up to the old stomping grounds…

        From all accounts, what you saw on the stage during the convention was the real deal. There is nothing fake about the guy.

  3. billg says:

    Good question. The next few months will tell if Mulcair is smart enough to become the polar opposite of SteelyEyed Stephen. Does Mulcair have the political smarts to do a transformation.
    I’m thinking the ConMachine will be dangling a few carrots to prove he cant. Mean while, back at the ranch, does the LPC look for a polar opposite of Harper, or, concede the next election and worry about hammering the NDP back into 3rd party territory. How ever this unfolds, this will be looked back at as a turning point in Canadian History….the birth of a 2 party system, or, the death of the LPC.

  4. >>Well, it’s not like any of the other candidates on offer was the Second Coming of Jack.<< I think Cullen would have been a far better pick - he carries some of Layton's qualities and he can't ever be accused of being a rage-a-holic. Warren's right - Mulcair is Harper with a beard and I'm not entirely confident that NDP MP's are going to be comfortable with their new leader if the rumors of his control freak/angry man tendencies come true. The true test will be a few months from now and whether the Bloc sees a resurgence in Quebec with Mulcair at the helm of the NDP. I'd always believed the NDP's stunning success in Quebec was a one-off freak of nature occurrence. If the NDP numbers slip, I suspect those who elected Mulcair are going to be saying they should have gone Cullen or Topp.

  5. Sailor says:

    That is the funniest comment on Harper I’ve ever read! Harper Ministers have tremendous leeway? Really? Having observed this government at close quarters, it is the most centrally controlled of any I worked for in the last 33 years. And your Mr. Harper ain’t no Abe Lincoln by any stretch of the imagination

  6. Michael says:

    ” And he has given them all tremendous leeway in how they run their depts – letting them have the glory or the shame of what they implement or in somecases try to implement.”

    Do we reside on the same planet Gord?

    Harper has a well deserved reputation of being a micro managing control freak. His ministers aren’t allowed to go to the bathroom without permission. Everything a minister says or does must be run through the PMO.

  7. smelter rat says:

    Thanks for the morning chuckle, Gord.

  8. Philip says:

    Did President Lincoln suppress voters too?

    I’m certain Harper is nothing like President Lincoln, Mr. Tulk. At best, Harper could only rise to the level of a low rent Franco or a President for Life: Mugabe.

  9. Anne Peterson says:

    Harper is an unprincipled dead fish. Mulcair is a principled fire brand. Harper is a hater – CBC, the Liberals, the way Canada was, everything and everybody it almost seems. A destroyer. Definitely a liar. And a man who runs away and lets others take the heat. I think Mulcair will stand and deliver. What he will deliver I’m not sure but it will be better than what we have.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      That’s a given, Anne, and I don’t think Mulcair will stand for any garbage from the Cons. He’s a fighter, but he’s a finesse fighter. And then, watch the Cons bring out the victim card when he catches them in a outright lie–which surely won’t be too long from now. And, from what I saw in the House today, Charlie Angus isn’t cutting them any slack, either.

      It’s too bad it had to come to this, but dammit, maybe it is needed. What a stinking mess. And all because Harper and his Harris retreads came into the House with heads full of steam and mouths full of lies and degradation.

  10. Ted H says:

    Well for one thing, in having a beard he represents a larger chunk of humanity in all its glory and diversity, not like the black suited, clean shaven (oops forgot about Jason Kenny) bullet heads who only know one word, “obviously” and make up the Harper cabinet.

    • Graham says:


      Traditionally, it is though those with beards have something to hide.

      Like the gay man who has a “wife” to hide his homosexuality from others.

      The “wife” is often called his BEARD.

      • Graham says:

        Thst is of course supposed to read “it is THOUGHT those with beards.

        • Ted H says:

          It is widely believed that some members of the Harper cabinet, moralistic conservatives that they are, have beards of the type you describe. Mulcair does not have that kind of beard, just a plain old manly Henry XIII kind of beard.

          • Ted H says:

            Thinking more about your line of thought Graham, I suppose Herman Cain could be called the Republican party’s “beard”, an attempt to hide the endemic racism of the GOP. In the same way, Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell were George W. Bush’s beards. Didn’t fool Kanye West though.

      • Michael says:

        Or the “wife” is called a staffer in the ministers office. 😉

      • kre8tv says:

        Hey wait cotton pickin’ minute. What’s with all the hate for beards? The guys from ZZ Top have beards and they’re okay (apart from the fact they haven’t made a good record since 1983). Socrates had a beard (okay so he was forced to drink poison in the end). John Lennon grew one after he met Yoko and before the Beatles imploded. Al Gore grew one after he got unelected President by the US Supreme Court. Karl Marx had kick-ass beardage. So did Uncle Jessie on Dukes of Hazzard (okay so it was a little creepy that *everyone* called him Uncle).

        Awww nuts. I’m clearly not gonna win this debate. But I’m not hiding anything in my beard. I swear.

  11. WesternGrit says:

    Dan – exactly.

    A Trudeau-type persona (not asking for the 2nd coming, or anything like that)… Someone who steals the NDP’s thunder, and is able to draw a CLEAR distinction between Harper and us (while still emphasizing our fiscally responsible past – in contrast to Harper), is the way to go. That’s exactly the leader I’m looking for. Have been talking to potential leaders across Canada – we’ll see what transpires…

  12. Tim Sullivan says:

    Thanks for the contribution of words, Gord. Now, does anyone have any remotely accurate observation?

    I’m not sure even cool-aid drinkers have said Harper gives any leaway, to anyone.

  13. William says:

    Don’t post when you’re drunk.

  14. Tim Sullivan says:

    Mark Carney.

  15. Nic Coivert says:

    You’ve reached a new delusional peak with this one. Harper is like Abraham Lincoln? And his ministers have leeway? You probably don’t believe in global warming either. How about evolution, its just a hoax is’nt it?

  16. Graham says:

    I hate to tell you this, but I’m pretty sure the Liberals already have their “new” leader.

    It’s guy claiming he’s just the “interm” leader.

  17. Graham says:

    IF we go into the election with Harper, Mulcair and Rae as leaders, Liberals are going to have to make a tough decision. Do they:

    1) Continue to vote for their dying party.

    2) Stay home.

    3) Vote for the NDP to stop another Harper majority

    4) Hold their nose and vote Conservative to stop the NDP from gaining power.

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      That “dying” party just put out an appeal over the weekend for a defense fund against Con attack ads…..the fund was to try and raise $100,000…..it raised $225,000…….from 3,000 odd Liberal members…..many of them first time donors…..
      And while there will be those who will pooh-pooh this result, in terms of the ReformaTory war chest…..for a party that hasnt had to fundraise in this manner before, Im proud of our efforts…..there isnt any reason why we cant build a warchest as substantial as the Harper cabal…..
      Rumours of our demise have been greatly exaggerated, and this is a prime indicator……

  18. Nic Coivert says:

    Mulcair has a very mellifluous voice, and he speaks well. These are advantages Harper doesn’t possess. Harper’sgreatest asset is that he is very boring. I don’t think Mulcair will be that.

  19. Graham says:

    Serious question for you Mr. Kinsella:

    Mulcair’s victory. Good news or bad news for the Liberals?

    There was a rather funny thing that happened to Bob Rae yesterday. Not sure if it an indication of the future, or just a one off but:

    After Question Period, the media were gathered around one of two mic’s in the foyer outside the HOC. They were waiting for Mulcair for his first post QP as leader of the Official Opposition media scrum but he was delayed.

    Bob Rae, never one to shy away from the glare of the TV camera’s decided to walk up to the mic.

    All but two or three media members SCATTERED. They ran over to the other Mic to await Mulcairs arrival.

    • Michael says:

      Actually Graham, they left Rae’s mic not to go wait for Mulcair, but because Mulcair had made an appearance at the other mic.

      What else would you expect. Everyone was waiting to hear from Mulcair, it was his first scrum as OOL.

      And don’t forget at one time Jack Layton was the leader of the 4th party in the House, didn’t seem to hurt him in his quest for media attention.

  20. CMS says:

    Warren, excellent column this morning.

    Since we’re talking about comparison’s today let me add one another name to the mix: Lucien Bouchard.

    Mulcair has some of the same qualities as Bouchard. There is no doubt that when they are on their game they can be very effective speakers. But the real similarities are in that they are both, hot-tempered, prone to hyperbolic outbursts and prone to childish tantrums. Of great concern to is also their instinctive ease to speak the language of grievance, especially when it comes to Quebec.

    Both of them resigned in a huff from cabinet and used those resignations as springboards to meteoric rises in their respective political careers. Both men were islands unto themselves. The problem for those types of leaders is inevitably they leave a trail of destruction in their wake. Canada had to deal with the Bloc Quebecois and endless lectures about humiliation from Lucien Bouchard.

    For both Mulcair and Bouchard slights are everywhere. Making matters worse, they conflate perceived personal slights into slights against Quebec. In their minds, criticizing them was the same as rejecting Quebec. We saw that early on in the leadership race when Mulcair and his people suggested that if Mulcair did not win the leadership it would essentially be a rejection of Quebec. They personified all of Quebec’s grievances. I thought it interesting that Mulcair kept on reminding Peter Mansbridge in his post-convention interview about just how different Quebec was. In fact he was both lecturing Mansbridge and at the same time warning everybody else that he will be their to defend Quebec’s honour at any perceived slight. In this way, members of the NDP not only elected their own leader but also the new leader of the Bloc Quebecois. Much like we can thank Brian Mulroney for inflicting Bouchard on Canada we can thank the NDP membership for this new Trojan horse.

    The only good thing about this comparison is that once Bouchard had had enough of the limelight and concluded that people had enough of his ego he left the stage and was rarely ever heard from again.

    • The Doctor says:

      I agree that described Bouchard back when he was active in politics. I found it interesting, though, that post-politics, Bouchard came across quite differently, like a sober senior statesman. He’s frequently chastised the Quebec sovereigntists in recent years for being unrealistic, etc.

  21. GPAlta says:

    If you’re looking for a team of rivals in recent Canadian history, just think about Jean Chretien and his front bench. Harper is much more like Martin in that he empowers the stupid and spineless so that they will not pose a challenge to his leadership.

  22. Tim says:

    Mulcair is a formidable opponent and Liberals know it. Martin Cauchon, one of their very best, went up against him in Outremont in 2011 and got crushed. The NDP convention produced the worst possible outcome for the Liberal Party. On the final ballot Mulcair didn’t need to broker anything to win and Nathan Cullen knew it. You’ve got to think the NDP is thinking about a long game where they lose the next election but finish off the Liberals as the consolation prize. I don’t see Bob Rae stopping it.

  23. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    I have heard Bob Rae called many things…….”prickly” is not among them……..
    He is, however, a polar opposite to Mr. Mulcair in that he can speak extemporaneously, and with passion(without undue vitriol) to get his point across……
    Thus far, Mr. Mulcair’s speeches(at least to the convention) have been the equivalent of sominex……You could almost feel the buyers remorse in the room after his victory address, read for the most part, from his text.
    I will agree with the above poster that Mr. Mulcair’s voice, like Mr. Rae’s, is pleasing to the ear……but it does him little good if it lulls his audience to sleep…..

    • Joey Rapaport says:

      DRAFT Trudeau, I’ll join the Libs as well.

      • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

        The son is not the Father……Sascha, on the other hand……

        • Pomojen says:

          I keep hearing these references to Sascha being more like PET. Is there any indication he’s interested in politics or is this just an observation people make? I’ve seen this enough times to wonder if I’ve missed something re:Sascha.

          • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

            My sources(who are actual party apparatchiks) rather than simple grunts in the trenches like meself tell me that young Sascha has no desire(sadly) to get involved in politics at this time……..

  24. Greg from Calgary says:

    Obama Polar Opposite?

    Didn’t Close Gitmo
    Increased and widened war in Afghanistan and Pakistan via ground troops and drone strikes
    Didn’t restore Habeas Corpus
    Tax cuts for corporations
    Makes illegal wiretapping legal
    Provides military aid to countries that have child soldiers (something outlawed when Bush was pres)
    Provides billions to wall street on the backs of taxpayers
    Assassination of a US citizen

    Hardly a polar opposite unless you only count style and not substance.

    • Cameron Prymak says:

      Obama stopped the Iraq war.
      Obama got Bin Lauden and he’s going after any terrorist that threatens the US.

      And VP Biden has already signaled a way to shift the US mission in Afghanistan to a more realistic one. Yes, Obama has increased drone activities and too many innocent people have been caught up in that.

      Domestically he saved the auto industry and bailed out Wall St. too where the only mistake made was that Congress didn’t attach any strings to the free money given to shore up the financial sector. If there would have been a requirement to actually lend the money the recovery would have gained more steam sooner. Instead bankers paid themselves bonuses with it but the US recovery is gaining momentum.

      He’s also been successful in extracting a $26B settlement so far on the mortgage front while leaving the door wide open so the DOJ can pursue much more ambitious settlements.

      He also marshalled enough support to pass a healthcare bill that eliminates pre-existing conditions and covers millions of Americans that would not have any coverage. It’s flawed in some ways but it’s the first significant legislation ever on the subject. The individual mandate at the centre of the SCOTUS hearings this week were something that was orignially promoted by the Republicans and Obamacare is modeled on Romney’s own health inititive.

      • Greg from Calgary says:

        Bush also bailed out the Auto Industry and Wall Street. Bush also had no strings attached to Wall Street. There is still a war in Iraq. Last week 46 citizens were killed. Further, he didn’t end it when he said he would. And, he has expanded other wars. I won’t disagree on the health front he has done things different. But not closing Gitmo, assassinations, legalizing spying on US citizens, assassinating US citizens no Habus Corpus and giving money to Wall street hand over fist means he is not a polar opposite.

        • Cameron Prymak says:

          Greg –

          Back up a bit, Bush started the war in Iraq, Obama ended it. The terrible legacy and fallacy of regime change that is Iraq lies with George W. Bush’s invasion, one that was based publicly on the premise of weapons of mass destruction. There’s no way you can honestly pin the current violence on Obama.

          As for Detroit and Wall Street recall that W’s two unfunded wars, outrageous tax cuts plus Wall Street’s shenanigans meant Obama inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. Add a recalcitrant Republican/Tea Party and you have a recipe for inaction.

          If you want to pin him on not being able to clean up all of W’s mess yet then you’re technically correct. I think that would be the epitome of throwing the baby out with the bath water though.

          • Greg from Calgary says:

            I’m not pinning Iraq on Obama. I’m pinning

            * Gitmo is still open
            * People are still jailed with no trial or charges brought before them (Habus Corpus.).
            * Obama now provides military assistance to 4 nations that employ child soldiers. Something he didn’t inherit from Bush. With the world upset about Kony I thought that the President who funds this sort of activity should be held to account.
            * If Obama has a bad economic situation why more tax cuts? Why when running massive deficits is he cutting taxes to the rich? If he is the candidate of change then more tax cuts isn’t change. You said Bush’s tax cuts were outragious, then why do more? This is the same Bush policy but even greater. If Bush was wrong so is Obama.
            * Obama, not Bush legalized spying on US citizens and he made it legal retroactively in order to cover Bush and company.
            * As for Wall Street the seeds were planted under the previous Democratic Administration with the repeal of the Glass Steagall act which separated investment and commercial banking activities. Has it been put back in place? Can banks still gamble with people’s life savings knowing that the US taxpayer will bail them out? No he hasn’t. All the conditions still exist. Thankfully when this was considered in Canada Chrétien nixed it. That is one of the three greatest things he did for this country.

            Under Obama spying was legalized, Gitmo still holds prisoners in violation of the Geneva Convention, countries with child soldiers funded, nothing done about Wall Street other than to continue Bush’s policies, and you can be held without trial for as long as the government says so.

            I’m pinning on him things he can change or said he could change but he hasn’t. For example he doesn’t have to provide military assistance to nations with child soldiers, Bush didn’t give him that. he doesn’t have to increase the “outragious tax cuts.” the list goes on.

            It doesn’t seem polar opposite to me.

  25. frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    It’s too early for April Fool’s Mr. Tulk……

    Mr. Harper IS an autocrat….as former environment minister(the only one of his cabinet with enough balls to question “Dear Leader”), Jim Prentice, found out……and as we know, Mr. Prentice left gov’t before he was pushed…..

    Other dictators have also created teams of rivals to allow them to govern without worrying about someone undermining their power…..seems to work…….for a while…..

  26. Sam Gunsch says:

    Quite thoughtful, attentive, upbeat, mostly smiley visual message from watching Mulcair’s first news conference without audio.

    Same deal with his visuals in one-on-one in his major media interviews.

    Assuming he can mostly stick with projecting that, he’ll go a longways to undoing his past.

    Trudeau’s confrontational verbal style worked.

    Maybe the observations of his weaknesses as per W.K. and others has been noted and he is listening to his handlers so far.

  27. kre8tv says:

    I come for the politics but I stay for the comedy gold. Gord, you never disappoint on the latter.

  28. Michael says:

    Did anyone see Preston Mannings letter to the editor of the G & M?

    When the NDP was created in 1961 out of the old CCF, it made a strategic error in abandoning its Western, agrarian, religious and populist roots in an attempt to win greater favour with academic socialists and organized labour in Central Canada. It zigged when it should have zagged, never won national office, and left the up-and-coming West open to political reorganization from the right.

    Now, just when the geo-political centre of gravity of Canada has shifted from the Laurentian region to a new alignment between Ontario and the West, the NDP has rooted itself in Quebec, a region facing declining political influence nationally unless led by bridge-builders not polarizers. Has the NDP zigged again when it should have zagged?

    Preston Manning, former leader, Reform Party

    • smelter rat says:

      Manning is a Bible thumping moron who is long past his best before date. Not to mention a hypocrite.

      • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

        Couldnt have said it any better myself, smelter……of course, when I was a ReformaTory, saying so would’ve resulted in me being burned at the stake for heresy……..

  29. gray says:

    Mulcair will never be Prime Minister. Too angry, not authentic enough – he was a Lib before. He could do some good work against the Tories by being passionate and attacking their agenda but he lacks the royal jelly. Canadians are, 60/40% Liberal/Conservative but the progressive split and the deep damage on the Liberal brand means that 40 will beat 30 and 30 for some time.

    Still a real scandal from the Tories could change that.

    The Liberals are a charismatic leader away from a rebirth. As a non-ideological party they need “shinier people” i.e. Trudeau or Chretien to carry the day.

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