|The New Democrats have a new leader. (h/t Jamie Masse)|
Thomas Mulcair will lead the NDP as head of the Loyal Opposition.
Despite some skepticism by New Democrats, I suspect the Outremont MP will win them over when he leads a smart, disciplined and passionate Opposition to the Harper Government.
From his beginnings as President of l'Office des professions du Québec to today, it is unquestionable that Mulcair functions best when he's tasked with denouncing incompetence and abuse of power.
The current Conservative Party of Canada's agenda should be comfortably within his wheelhouse.
For all the doubts on his position on marijuana, it is almost identical to that of Jack Layton.
For all the doubts on his position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is almost identical to that of Jack Layton.
Follow Jack Layton’s policy of working with partners for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine, within a framework of respect for international law and UN resolutions including recognition of the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace as independent states within negotiated and agreed-upon bordersThere is no break with tradition and I think the most revealing aspect of his approach to leadership was when Peter Mansbridge read out the talking points that the Conservative Party of Canada had about him. He dismissed them ably and when asked whether he would take out advertisement to counter them, he said he wasn't initially inclined to do so but he'd discuss it with his caucus and the NDP strategists if this was a necessity.
It wasn't about him and he'd much rather put the spotlight on the many missteps by the Conservatives than make his leadership a personal pissing contest between him and Stephen Harper. However, if the Conservatives would be able to define him as they have previous Opposition Leaders, he would do what's necessary to bring back the focus on policy issues.
An even-handed and thoughtful approach.
I'm confident that Thomas Mulcair will win the confidence of all New Democrats with his leadership and hopeful he'll do likewise with the majority of Canadians come 2015.