Can you imagine the NDP as a potential Canadian government and Thomas Mulcair as Prime Minister in 2015? I can not.
Without sounding like Alec Baldwin, I would like to make a public declaration. Later on this year, if the NDP indeed wins government and Thomas Mulcair becomes Canada's 23rd and first NDP Prime Minister, I will depart from Canada and move elsewhere. No, I will not do a Conrad Black and abandon my Canadian citizenship but I will join the strong Canadian diaspora and embrace my international Canadian citizenship abroad.
Can you imagine having the NDP as a national government? It will be a disaster.
Thankfully, the majority of Canadians are with me on this. The latest poll has the NDP at 22.1 per cent while the Liberals are at 31.9 per cent and the Conservatives at 31.1 per cent. EKOS tells us that "the NDP seems to be the only mover in an otherwise frozen voter landscape". For Ipolitics -- "The New Democrats are back in the ring". What ring? Were they dead before? Wasn't the NDP that formed the official opposition just one election cycle ago?
Are these numbers enough to form the next government in less than a year or live in the political fringe ghetto that the party has been in since it was founded in 1961? The later is the the reality and what I know the party to always be.
The reason Canadians do not look at the NDP as government material is obvious. Its public role has been to shout, scream and protest from the sidelines and that reality has and should not change. I would never question nor discount their public contributions -- Medicare and minimum wage -- however these admirable ideals were achieved with the adult supervision of the traditional governing parties. With recent defections, lack of confidence in its leader and itself, serious financial misconduct allegations, lack of party discipline, the NDP will once again embrace its tradition.
There are good reasons many noted NDPers who could have contributed to the party and given it substance and the will to win -- Bob Rae, Ujal Dosanjh, Glen Murray -- have departed from the party, joined other parties and enjoyed the privilege of serving in government. The people that are advising it now have little talent and experience for the party to matter to Canadians. Take for instance, Brad Lavigne, whose only experience with real electoral success and association with any government comes via the Canadian Federation of Students.
There is some wisdom in the words of the late Herb Gray, who once described the NDP, as a "waste of taxpayers' money".
The truth of the matter is, the next election is a clear choice between Stephen Harper's Conservatives or Justin Trudeau's Liberals. The 2011 Jack Layton Orange Wave that made the federal NDP an official opposition was as much of an accident as Bob Rae's NDP was in 1990. As Rae's government found out rudely and abruptly in 1995, saving us all from an encore mediocre performance and giving way to the Mike Harris's Common Sense Revolution, the NDP's Orange Wave breakthrough of 2011 was a one-time accident that is never to be repeated again.
Thomas Mulcair is a passionate, smart, dedicated and ambitious politician. Unlike the average NDP cadre, he does not think the NDP is a religion but a way to make public contributions. It would be unfortunate if he was to be defeated in Outremont as an MP and goes down with the NDP. He would make a real contribution to the fabric of our public institutions, if he was to follow in the footsteps of Alberta's Danielle Smith, join either of the two traditional parties and then have a realistic chance to serve near or within government.
Now, that would be something to support and celebrate. Not the NDP.
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