Thomas Mulcair lacks the basic prerequisites for being a successful Canadian prime minister: he’s ambivalent about being a Canadian, he lacks a fundamental knowledge of economics and he’s devoid of personal political values and beliefs.
Let’s begin with the NDP leader’s ambivalence regarding his Canadian citizenship. Why does any Canadian need dual citizenship? Canada is the greatest country on earth by almost any measure, so what part of being Canadian needs augmenting with French citizenship.
It’s one thing to have been born in another country and thereby hold a foreign citizenship by birthright; it is quite another for Mulcair, born in Ottawa, to seek it out. On this issue, Mulcair’s former boss, Jack Layton, had this to say in 2006:
I would prefer that a leader of a party hold only Canadian citizenship, because one represents many Canadians, and for me that means that it’s better to remain the citizen of one country.”
I’m with Layton on this one.
Secondly, there seems little doubt Mulcair lacks a basic understanding of economics. His recent claim that Canada’s economy is suffering from “Dutch disease” is a case in point.
Mulcair’s assertion oversimplifies the issue for many other factors besides oil have contributed to the decline of manufacturing and the rise of the Canadian dollar, starting with the rise of China and other Eastern economies and the eroding U.S. dollar in recent years.
Furthermore, since it lowers the costs of imported machinery and other inputs, a higher dollar can even be seen as being good for Canadian manufacturers. Moreover, manufacturing has suffered much the same fate on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border, suggesting the NDP leader’s assessment of Ontario’s economic mess misses its mark.
Thirdly, let’s consider the man’s personal political values and beliefs, or rather, his lack of same.
Mulcair sat in the cabinet of Liberal premier Jean Charest who had formerly been the leader of the federal Progressive Conservatives. Mulcair chose to resign from Charest’s cabinet not because of he had changed his political values or beliefs, but rather because he was demoted. And before joining the socialist in Ottawa, he would have joined the Conservatives had they agreed to his demands for a Cabinet seat.
Mulcair denies he had demanded a cabinet seat, but acknowledges that he talked to the Conservatives (and the Liberals and the Greens) before joining Jack Layton’s party. In short, he sought the best deal he could get, not the best ideological fit.
Mulcair is an unprincipled political opportunist: he can go left; he can swing right. It all depends on which way will best suit his personal ambitions.
The thought that such a man might be a future prime minister of Canada is distressing in the extreme.