Dr.Dawg

NDP leadership: Paul Dewar's chops

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When it comes to filling the gigantic shoes of Jack Layton, columnist Lawrence Martin clearly prefers a bare-knuckle scrapper: this morning he came out strongly for Thomas Mulcair. What many of us consider serious faults, Martin redefines as virtues: Mulcair is a “hothead” with “a brand of arrogance particular to Quebec,” whatever that means. He’s pugnacious, “forceful,” a “strongman.”

Just what the party needs, Martin avers:

[Mulcair’s] weaknesses may in fact be his strengths. The last thing the NDP wants to put up against this Prime Minister is someone mild of manner, someone who can’t take a punch or throw a bunch of them.

In offering what many might consider a rather dubious endorsement, Martin takes an odd swipe at Paul Dewar, the popular NDP Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Centre:

Paul Dewar is highly intelligent, a politician of integrity, but lacks brass and would be vulnerable to Mr. Harper in the same way as a St├ęphane Dion.

I would invite Martin (and my readers here) to observe this video carefully.

In it, a segment of CTV’s Question Period, Paul eviscerates John Baird, probably Stephen Harper’s most aggressive attack dog. He is utterly disarming, to the point that he has Baird himself laughing. It is rare that one sees this unselfconscious sense of the comedic deployed with such consummate political skill.

Those who enjoy the comic-opera sound and fury of House of Commons bickering, which too often extends beyond those walls to taint our entire political discourse—the same sort who secretly watch hockey for the fights—will have little patience with such deftness. They will not appreciate the keen, seemingly painless stiletto stroke, delivered with a humour that reminds me more than a little of Jack Layton.

This is more their style:


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I leave it to others to decide which approach they prefer in their Parliamentary representatives, which approach gets the job done, which approach, in short, is more to be desired in a leader—of any political party. Paul hasn’t declared as yet, but I, for one, hope he will.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr.Dawg published on September 6, 2011 5:30 PM.

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