If you dig a little into the archives of mainstream media websites and clips, you will notice a trend where the identity politics angle is almost exclusively supported by tweets and Facebook posts from unknown individuals instead of the direct questions or opinions from the journalist or reporter covering the story. Nowadays, journalists hide behind anonymous social media posts and pretend those opinions deserve spotlight coverage in hopes of unearthing a controversial sound bite or another clickable headline.
Something got lost in all this childish behaviour, especially once Tom Mulcair transitioned from apparently laughing at Trudeau losing his cool to losing his own cool and screaming that the Prime Minister was "pathetic" for accidentally elbowing NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau in the chest... What got lost was the bill they were debating, Bill C-14, the government's assisted-dying legislation. And it fell further from prominence once the NDP, the party that allegedly wants to make this bill better, saw an opportunity to use the accident as political leverage against the Prime Minister and perhaps for their own leadership ambitions.
Trudeau talked about feminism. He took some selfies. He appeared on the cover of several magazines. Then he and Obama made some jokes. Then he did a one-armed push up. Those are just a small sampling of his antics since taking office. And now, I think I've had just about enough. Trudeau is clearly milking his greatest strength. His likability is off the charts, but with so many important issues happening in Canada right now do we really need to constantly be reminded that our prime minister is approachable and hip?
The belief in a fairer and more just world, never fully prioritized by the other parties, has been the shining "city on a hill" for the NDP for decades and remains a stirring vision. It still sustains them as they move forward and Canadians still require their outlook. The question is: will it remain their principal and overriding passion or will their recent nearness to power have them seeking more power than purpose?
We can, moving forward, outline a clear vision of who we are, what we stand for, and what we can truly offer to Canadians... I want to know how we -- New Democrats -- will do better and I want these plans grounded in evidence-based policy reflective of our values. And I want for our members to chart the course of our party, not for what might be popular at the time or what might gain support in the short-term to guide our decisions.
If Tom gets dumped on Sunday, I'll join that chorus because I can't think of anything more Liberal than filling our leader's back with knives, then throwing him under the bus. We will still be left with all the structural problems Tom inherited along with a host of new ones. I believe we need to be focused on fixing our party, on democratizing the crafting of our platform, on reconnecting our movement to our party, on weaning the central campaign off our riding rebates so we can effectively build riding associations and campaigns that can compete locally with the other parties.
The most important thing is for the NDP to not limp along and slip into irrelevance, but to boldly rebuild. Canada needs the NDP. But it needs an NDP that is both inspiring and competent, visionary and responsible, principled and practical. The many dedicated NDP activists need to know what happens now. Where is the NDP headed and how do they fit in to the big picture? What are the concrete plans to rebuild? Which brings me to the leadership question. The Leader too has to share the blame and Tom Mulcair has acknowledged this.