Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mr. Mulcair still a work in progress

  • Print

NDP leader Thomas Mulcair's "affordability tour" rolled into Winnipeg this week with a pretty good basket of political issues that will resonate with Canadians, even if most of them are warmed-over promises from past campaigns.

Mr. Mulcair is targetting oil firms, banks, payday loan companies and credit card rates, which he says are gouging ordinary Canadians and saddling them with enormous household debt.

The Opposition leader is not the first politician to cite these issues -- the Conservatives promised to hold parliamentary hearings on gas prices a few years ago -- but populist ideas never go out of vogue.

These are natural issues for the New Democrats, but they are also particularly useful at a time when the party is third in polls behind the Conservatives and Liberals under the charismatic Justin Trudeau.

In an editorial board meeting with the Free Press on Wednesday Mr. Mulcair made a point of saying Mr. Trudeau has yet to provide a detailed outline of his policies.

The Liberal leader's popularity, which at this point seems to be based entirely on personality, must be an enormous source of frustration for Mr. Mulcair, who has decades of political experience and who has shown himself to be an effective performer in Parliament.

If life is unfair, however, politics is even more so. With most of his MPs coming from Quebec, Mr. Mulcair is looking for ways to connect with Ontarians and Western Canadians, the focus of his present tour.

The problem with good ideas, however, is they can be lifted and improved by other political parties. Depending on how the winds blow between now and the next election in 2015, Mr. Mulcair may well find that both the Conservatives and the Liberals have their own consumer issues on the table.

Mr. Mulcair's challenge isn't convincing Canadians he's got their priorities right, it's showing them he's also a likable guy who can connect with ordinary people. On that front, Mr. Mulcair is still a work in progress.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Gerald Flood, Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 24, 2014 A12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jim Flaherty remembered at visitation as irreplaceable

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A goose comes in for a landing Thursday morning through heavy fog on near Hyw 59 just north of Winnipeg - Day 17 Of Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google