680News political affairs specialist John Stall on politics.See more blogs
Pit bull? Prime minister? Or both? NDP choices this weekend
It may be a simplistic analysis, but in my view, the NDP has only one option if it hopes to remain strong and relevant as the Official Opposition heading into the next election, and that is to choose Thomas Mulcair as its leader this weekend in Toronto
There has been deep analysis since the last election over what was responsible for the NDP’s rise, but in my view, the answer is quite simple. Quebec was fed up with the Bloc, voters in that province were not in the least interested in Michael Ignatieff and were pissed at the Harper Conservatives.
As a result the only acceptable alternative was Jack Layton, whose personality and Quebec roots carried the day. The NDP will return to third-party status without continued support from Quebec, and in my view, the only way to hold that support is under the leadership of Mulcair.
In a nutshell, the province is more likely to rally round a Quebecer like Mulcair than any of the other candidates. Mulcair has been criticized by some for his brash, pit bull persona, but that style has resonated with Quebecers throughout history. White bread doesn’t work in Quebec. Yes, the party (in its mind) goes into this weekend convention choosing a possible prime minister. The only point I make is that no leader can become prime minister without solid support from Quebec.