Just the usual to be expected
Being contender puts NDP under scrutiny
The New Democrats, of course, were also governing under the shadow of an economic recession. Those same years would have been difficult for a Liberal or Progressive Conservative government.
At the same time, the Liberals or PC were also expected to win that 1990 election, and perhaps Rae and his party and their promises were not subjected to as much scrutiny during the campaign.
That’s not happening this time around. Mulcair and his party are not only viewed as worthy contenders in the federal campaign, but are being closely examined for their ability to govern.
On Monday, Mulcair spoke to a business crowd in Montreal, and on Tuesday he was in Toronto addressing the Economic Club of Canada. Now that it looks as though he could become the next prime minister, everyone wants to hear from Mulcair. And that’s good.
Interesting that Mulcair appears to be pushing his party to the right on some issues. On Tuesday he cast himself as a champion of small business, and reminded his audience that provincial NDP governments (except Rae’s) have a history of balancing budgets. Those words were likely well-received by the Economic Club’s business crowd, which in past years may have regarded New Democrats as wild-eyed revolutionaries.
All that has now changed. Not only do the NDP’s chances look good, but the party’s leader is being asked to explain himself and his party to a wider audience precisely because their chances of forming the next government are good.