Friday, September 21, 2007

The NDP Is Just Eye-Candy

Thomas Mulcair's presence in the NDP is questionable, because this party is out of touch with Quebec.

On Monday, Thomas Mulcair - not the New Democratic Party (NDP), mind you! - won a seat in the Montrealer riding of Outremont during a by-election. There's not much reason to be surprised, because in a by-election, the participation rate is very low, that is, 37.6% in the case of Outremont. Moreover, unlike what Mulcair has been saying recently, people didn't necessarily vote for the NDP; they rather voted for him (i.e. the man).

On the other hand, after the by-election, the NDP's leader, Jack Layton, averred that more and more people are grateful to what his party does. Without a doubt, never has the NDP been so active in the agora. All you have to do is to watch Jack Layton's plethora of public appearances condemning Stephen Harper's policies in the economy, the environment and the mission in Afghanistan.

Obviously, Thomas Mulcair's presence in the NDP is questionable, because this party is out of touch with Quebec. Of course, Jack Layton has been doing many efforts to make his party look attractive, but its victory in Outremont will not influence Quebecker voters in general.

First of all, Jack Layton once proposed to create a Canadian republic. Not bad for someone who was born and Quebec and now lives in Ontario! Evidently, the abolition of the monarchical institutions is a very popular idea in Quebec among French Quebeckers. Nonetheless, Layton can't connect himself with many Quebeckers. In short, the ideas of creating a republic and being against the war in Afghanistan won't give him more seats in Quebec.

Moreover, Mulcair, Quebec's former Environment minister, certainly forgot that many of us, Quebeckers, don't see the NDP as an alternative for renewing Canadian federalism. Let's face it: federalism has never seemed to be a card in the NDP's hands. No wonder why the NDP is still seen as a political party that has a vision of federalism based on centralization.

Strange though it might sound, back in his days as being our provincial Environment minister, Mulcair once blasted Stéphane Dion (who was the federal Environment minister) for being unsensitive to Quebec's demands. A few years later, Mulcair joins a party that is close to the Liberal Party of Canada in the issue of federalism! It may be too early to say it, but how does Thomas Mulcair want to be remembered?

In the upcoming days, Mulcair definitely owes us explanations about his vision of federalism. Did he forget that Quebeckers appreciate a flexible approach to federalism? Besides, what are his views on the federal spending power?

If Thomas Mulcair wants to join the NDP, that's fine for him. However, as opposed to what Jack Layton believes, the NDP didn't become more "effective" in the House of Commons with the arrival of Mulcair in the political landscape. In fact, Jack Layton terribly lacks talent in debating. For instance, just look at his absurd stances on our mission in Afghanistan and his badly elaborated thoughts on the economy.

Above all, what distinguishes the NDP from the Tories is its incapacity to occupy a seat in the debate on federalism. This is something that Thomas Mulcair should have known. Well, shame on him.

For the moment, the fact that the NDP is bound to stay in the opposition is not a matter of dispute. How bad for a party that claims to be so close to all Canadians!

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