THUNDER BAY – Editorial – Some political observers have wondered why the federal Conservatives have not launched a series of attack ads to define NDP Leader Thomas Muclair. Likely the reason is that rather than do that, the Conservatives have realized that Muclair, as he seeks to define himself to Canadians, is doing a better job of it than they could.
Thomas Muclair defined himself better than the Conservatives could have.
Muclair has announced he would re-introduce a federal gun registry.
In effect in a few words, the NDP leader has shutdown any opportunity of gains in rural Ontario and Western Canada. That move secures the Conservatives in their base more than any attack ad possibly could have accomplished.
Muclair has also announced he would move against the Oil Sands. Right there he opened the wallets of westerners to pour money into the Conservative Party’s election war-chest.
Canadians seeking a Prime Minister for all of Canada are being told by Muclair that the fizz has gone from Jack Layton’s Orange Crush. Muclair has in effect declared war more on what is left of the Liberals, than going after a bigger tent, rural Canadians, and Western Canadians.
The NDP leader’s actions are speaking loud and clear.
The federal gun registry remains the poster child for a social-engineering scheme that did not effectively do what was promised. All the federal Liberals did was anger a large constituency of Canadians who likely will never forgive them. Muclair has now focused that anger against the New Democrats. To have done that as the Conservatives complete a promise to gun owners is simply very bad timing.
On the Oil Sands, it might be bang-on for environmentalists to pound on the energy sector. However the truth remains that energy is what powers our economy.
Muclair has put the New Democrats in a tiny box surrounded by a larger constituency.
In Thunder Bay the pronouncements in effect will hobble both local Members of Parliament, John Rafferty and Bruce Hyer. It also puts Muclair in the position of appearing no different from traditional politics. Whipping MPs to vote against the expressed will of their constituents is not ‘new democracy’ it is the worst of the old democracy.
Likely the Conservatives have taken their shot at Bob Rae and the Liberals. Their political war-room likely saw that Thomas Muclair was going to take these directions, and didn’t want to invest dollars to try to frame the new NDP leader.
Muclair did it for them.