The toughest job

It’s often said that the prime minister has the toughest job in the country.

It’s often said that the prime minister has the toughest job in the country.

May we suggest that perhaps newly-elected leader of the opposition Thomas Mulcair now has the toughest job in the country. For one thing, he has to go toe-to-toe with probably one of the toughest prime ministers we’ve ever had. However, for Mulcair, who likes to use pugilist analogies, that probably won’t be the toughest part of his job.

Firstly, he has to fill the shoes of the late Jack Layton, who took the party from third party status to Official Opposition. Layton’s message and style in the last election reverberated with lots of Canadians and that contributed to his and the NDP’s success at the polls. However, the NDP’s electoral success also had a lot to do with the fact Canadians didn’t want to vote Liberal or Conservative (and in Quebec not wanting to vote Bloc), so they moved to the NDP.

The first challenge for Mulcair is to not be Layton, yet retain and build on the mystique that Layton created. Not an easy task.

Mulcair references what Tony Blair did with the Labour Party in England as an example of what he’d like to do here. In other words, he wants to move it to the centre. The biggest challenge there, just as it is for a Conservative party leader who wants to move that party to the middle, is staving off the internal knives.

And, on top of that, the party in Canada that has traditionally held the middle ground, the Liberals, aren’t going to go down without a fight. It’s one thing that the Liberals have understood better than the NDP or the Conservatives … elections in Canada are won in the middle. Canadians, by and large, gravitate to the middle of the political spectrum.

It’s why the Liberals have had electoral success. When the Conservatives moved there, they had success. However, it’s not an easy task … for any leader.

If Mulcair wants to move to 24 Sussex Drive, which he undoubtedly does, he has to lay claim to the middle of the political spectrum.

To do that he has to first convince his party that’s where they should go, keep his rookies in line, stave off the Liberals who will re-surface with a new (ish) leader, and the Conservatives who, by the time next election rolls around will have softened the right wing ideology it is now pushing and be rolling out a more social agenda.

Mulcair definitely has a tough job ahead of him and the Canadian electorate will ultimately decide whether he succeeds.

 

– Prince George Free Press

 

 

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Most Read