Dr. Dawg

#ndpldr: Thomas Mulcair

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I was going to conclude my account of today’s tragicomedy with my previous no doubt overly-poetic allusion to a trapped pigeon—until my new leader opened his mouth.

What kind of man reads his victory speech?

Thomas Mulcair is a passionate individual, but the range of his passion seemed rather limited this evening. Might one not reasonably expect, at this moment of all moments, at this turning-point for him and for the party he now leads, a little spontaneous emotion? Joy, perhaps? A few heartfelt flashes of vision? A hand of friendship extended to the 45% who voted against him in the fourth and final two-name ballot?

What we got instead was a perfunctory thanks to his rivals followed by a series of policy issues, delivered in what looked like a self-conscious attempt to appear prime ministerial. It was play-acting, and not very good play-acting at that. It was Mulcair pretending to be a different Mulcair. And it went on far too long.

A script, however, is a form of discipline. It holds you to a path; it circumscribes and restrains. It prevents the wild extemporaneous utterance. Was this discipline self-imposed, or advised by his team? What was it keeping in check?

There was so much missing, and so much more that could have waited. A victory statement should be short, focused, a meld of the personal and the political, and above all it should connect. But Mulcair failed to make contact, so eager was he to stand on a higher plane.

At this point, however, we must have our real McCoy, warts and all—not a strait-jacketed construct. Just be yourself, Tom. We already know the man behind the curtain.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on March 24, 2012 11:54 PM.

NDP leadership convention: trapped pigeon was the previous entry in this blog.

The Mulcair perplexity is the next entry in this blog.

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