By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Tuesday March 20, 2012
‘I’m just putting up warning signals’
Former NDP leader Ed Broadbent is standing by his sharp criticism of party leadership front-runner Thomas Mulcair, saying he has a “responsibility” to highlight the shortcomings of the Montreal MP before the race concludes.
In an interview Saturday with Postmedia News, Broadbent said he has no regrets about coming forward recently with public comments about Mulcair’s leadership qualifications.
Broadbent reiterated his concerns, saying: the NDP could disappear if Mulcair brings it too close to the political centre; that Mulcair had claimed false credit for the party’s breakthrough in Quebec in last May’s election; and that New Democrats ought to be worried about whether he has the personal temperament to lead a united caucus.
“I’m just putting up warning signals,” Broadbent said from his Ottawa home. “I felt I had a responsibility to do this.”
“I have never had a personal vendetta or something so trivial or banal against Tom. But I have strong convictions about the truth in politics and I dislike intensely when someone gets a bum rap or when someone else tries to take credit for what other people are doing.”
In recent days, thousands of New Democrats have been casting their ballots for the next leader. The race will conclude next Saturday with a convention in Toronto – where seven candidates will make their final pitch.
Broadbent, who supports former party president Brian Topp’s candidacy, turned heads last week when he took his advocacy a step further – issuing blunt criticism of Mulcair through media interviews. (Source: Montreal Gazette)