Column: Trudeau and Mulcair seize their moments
The new session of the House presents no shortage of opportunities and challenges for both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau, as they position themselves on the left and centre of the political spectrum.
Mulcair enjoys an inherent advantage as leader of the Opposition, while Trudeau’s strengths are not in the House, but on the hustings.
The Senate expense scandal has been the gift that keeps on giving to Mulcair. He has been dominant in question period, relentless in asking who knew what and when. He’s also learning to control his famous temper, and even appears to be enjoying himself. Last week, when he asked Stephen Harper how many lawyers it takes not to have a meeting, he was doubled up in laughter.
This week’s gift is a letter from the RCMP seeking emails from the Prime Minister’s Office to Mike Duffy, on whether the PMO made up a story about a $90,000 loan from the Royal Bank to re-pay his ineligible expenses, when the cheque was cut by Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright. And then Conservative bagman Senator Irving Gerstein made a speech to the party’s convention last weekend in which he said he told Wright the party would not reimburse Duffy’s expenses, and “it never did.” This is at odds with information from Wright to the RCMP last summer that they discussed reimbursing Duffy a much smaller amount, but not $90,000. So that’s another version of a story that keeps on changing. Tick-tock.
For Mulcair, it doesn’t get any better than this. He would have been a great chief counsel to a royal commission. It’s a lawyerly role he was born to play.
But while question period is Mulcair’s on-camera moment, his real work has been behind closed doors at caucus on Wednesday mornings. It’s impossible to be in a job like leader of the Opposition and not grow into the role. Like Jack Layton before him, Mulcair’s top priority is managing his caucus, particularly his large Quebec deputation.
He did a very good job last year in keeping his Quebec MPs out of the Quebec election, though he could have done without a couple of them donating to Québec Solidaire, the left-wing separatist party. But no one endorsed any local candidates for the Parti Québécois, and that would not have played well in the rest of Canada.
And this fall, Mulcair has been equally adept at keeping his Quebec MPs on the sidelines of the wretched debate over the Marois government’s proposed Charter of Quebec Values. While Mulcair has been very clear in his opposition to it, he has been very smart to let it play out in Quebec. (Source: Ottawa Citizen)
When I saw your cartoon for Saturday I just had to cut it out for my eldest daughter. She is in Guelph University and she, along with many of her uni friends are ardent followers of Monsieur Justin Trudeau!
I showed the cartoon to two of my other daughters and at first they wondered why because they only noticed Stephen Harper … until they looked to the right …. that’s when they both jumped up and down excitedly screaming Justin, Justin! The youngest exclaimed that she doesn’t care what he stands for politically, she would vote for him just cause he’s so hot!! She’s only 15 so her vote won’t count for a long time. The middle daughter will be 18 by the time the vote takes place and she is for sure casting hers his way. All my girls think Justin is just Beautiful.
So thanks Graeme – you hit the nail right on the head with this cartoon. You must know Justin’s gonna win!
I’ll be framing that cartoon for all my girls – future predicted.
Shared on the Facebook Page L’Expérience lol78.