Looking confident and relaxed, Mulcair emerged from his weekend victory promising to go into bloody battle with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, barely mentioning the third-party Grits.
In return, the Conservatives welcomed Mulcair’s victory with an online attack, calling him “an opportunist whose high-tax agenda, blind ambition and divisive personality would put Canadian families and their jobs at risk.”
But beyond all the partisan rhetoric, Harper and Mulcair are more allies than enemies in their pursuit of one key political goal — the decimation of the federal Liberal party. …
In sum, the New Democrats have chosen a leader who at least appears to have the essentials to turn his party’s so-called “orange crush” in the last election into a new norm in Canadian politics. …
In a revealing interview with CBC’s chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge after the leadership convention, Mulcair totally ruled out any kind of co-operative arrangement with the Liberals going into the next election. Instead, Mulcair later told reporters the NDP will present itself as “the only party that can stand up to Stephen Harper in the next election.”
The road to Mulcair’s convincing Canadian voters of that is obviously long and anything but certain. But if he does succeed, we may have just witnessed the beginning of the end of the Liberal Party, and the Canadian political landscape will be reshaped as a choice between right and left.
Nothing would make Stephen Harper happier.
It’s true. We think we can beat the NDP 2/3 of the time in a straight-up fight.
But — and here’s why the NDP wants it — the ratchet effect of growing statism (or social democracy, per its supporters) is one that’s very difficult to escape.