This past week may come to be seen as a watershed moment in the NDP's capitulation to neoliberal capitalism. The nominally social democratic party effectively supported a major corporate trade accord all the while opposing an International Monetary Fund call for a more progressive tax code.
Should Thomas Mulcair lose the big race on Saturday, Monday's editorial pages will doubtlessly be filled with all manner of convoluted post-mortems as the punditocracy struggles to find the reason their golden boy's party turned against him.
If Mulcair doesn't win, the pundit class tells us that Quebec will go back to the Bloc and we'll be worse off than we were before. Is that even true? And how do all these calculations change if Bob Rae doesn't step down as planned? All I know is, I'm kind of glad I'm not voting in this one.
There is the possibility that a Mulcair-led NDP could open up space for the Liberals as the principled centre-left alternative. With Conservatives who see the federal government's role as more about building prisons and fighter jets than providing social programs, and an NDP beholden to separatist forces in Quebec, there is a worrying lack of national vision in Canadian politics.
In the latest NDP leadership debate, Thomas Mulcair as the perceived front-runner was the target of a number of barbs thrown his way, all of which imply he isn't a true believer in the NDP. Questioning Mulcair's NDP credentials makes for an interesting attack point in a debate, but what happens if your pseudo NDPer wins?
Attempting to follow the ins and outs of the NDP campaign is a bit like trying to watch a horse race in the dark: you can place bets, but the fun ends there. One has to pity all the poor political reporters across the land being dispatched to "cover" a race which they now openly profess to be analyzing solely on the basis of random hunches and pet theories.