By Harvey Oberfeld
Keeping It Real…
August 2nd, 2015
Will someone on NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s strategy team explain to him: the arrogance and refusal to answer questions or debate should only come AFTER the election!
The federal election campaign is just under way … and already the NDP’s man who wants to be Prime Minister has shown exactly the same dismissive personal traits that have so turned off and turned so many Canadians against Stephen Harper.
It was an incredible sight Sunday … Mulcair, being carried LIVE on tv from coast to coast, with a potential audience of millions watching/listening to his every word … delivered his prepared statement and then rushed away from the podium: displaying a ‘we don’t take no stinking questions’ attitude!
Made worse by the fact that anyone watching would likely have seen the PM … with a reputation for disdaining questions … only minutes before not only made the election call, also LIVE coast to coast , but then took questions, even if only five of them, in both official languages.
And Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, when he reacted to the election call from Vancouver LIVE on tv …took ALL the questions ANY of the media wanted to pose … and, in my view, handled them surprisingly well.
And speaking of Vancouver, I was also happy to see that Trudeau did NOT cancel his commitment … made before the election call … to fly to the West Coast to attend the Vancouver Pride festivities.
It was actually quite funny to watch CBC news types boo-hooing and almost apoplectic before and after the PMs visit to Rideau Hall that Trudeau had dared not to hang around Ottawa (or anywhere else in Central Canada) to be available IMMEDIATELY to react to the election call), but actually got on a plane to keep his BC plans … reacting and taking questions … MANY questions ..after he arrived here.
With a 77-day campaign … did any leader have to react within minutes, to cater to central Canada’s political establishment and the CBC?
Elizabeth May of the Greens was already in BC … and made herself available early, for the Eastern media, but did NOT fly off to Ottawa to cater to them.
But that brings me again to Mulcair and how disappointingly he reacted … perhaps in a very telling way for British Columbians.
The NDP Leader CANCELLED his plans to be in Vancouver and for the Pride festivities so he could be … not in Ottawa … but in Quebec IMMEDIATELY when the election call came.
These decisions are not made lightly: it’s no coincidence that as Mulcair read his election call prepared statement in Gatineau, Que, right behind him was a Canadian flag and a Quebec flag.
BC can wait.
And I’m sure when he does make it out here, the NDP leader will tell us how important WE will be if he wins government. But clearly, second fiddle to Quebec … even cancelling his plans here to cater to the East.
And speaking on cancelling, Mulcair’s “people” have also announced the NDP leader will NOT take part in the broadcast consortium’s Leaders TV Debate if Harper does not either.
Sounds/looks more like Harper every day … and the campaign is just under way!
How ARROGANT that a political leader … ANY political leader … who wants to be Canada’s Prime Minister REFUSES to take part in a debate that will avail him with TWO HOURS of LIVE air time to EXPLAIN and DEFEND his party’s platform to Canadians.
Imagine what it would cost to BUY that amount of air time!
What is Mulcair afraid of?
I believe he’s running away from the debate because the opening home game of Montreal Canadiens 2015-2016 season is on the same night as the French debate … and I suspect Mulcair sees MORE VOTES in being seen at the game (PHOTO OP!!!) than in being on nationwide LIVE TV actually discussing political issues before Canadians who care..
When Harper said HE would not debate, I was VERY critical of him … and so were many NDP supporters who castigated him for that decision. You can read all of that here: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/debate-refusal-could-prove-harpers-achilles-heel/
It will be interesting … and amusing …to watch them squirm around now .. since Mulcair has shown the same disrespect for Canadians.
Being the Opposition Leader … NOT the PM …Mulcair should JUMP at the chance to speak to Canadians live for ANY extended period.
The fact that he is refusing to do so and only taking questions when HE decides he’ll lower himself to do so, worries me a great deal.
And it should sound an alarm for all of us.