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article imageNDP Leadership — Rivals turn their guns on Thomas Mulcair

By André R. Gignac     Mar 12, 2012 in Politics
Vancouver - Accused of trying to move the New Democratic Party to the center, Thomas Mulcair found himself under fire for most of the final debate in Vancouver.
The seven remaining candidates for the leadership of the New Democratic Party, meeting this last Sunday in Vancouver for their final televised debate, had an ultimate chance to expand on their political program and make a lasting impression on Canadians, or at least on those members of the NDP who have not yet voted for a new leader. Instead, most of the candidates decided to turn their guns on Thomas Mulcair, and by doing so they publicly acknowledged the front-runner status of the Québec MP.
Paul Dewar, for one, complained that Mulcair, contrary to Jack Layton, was lacking in “hopeful optimism”, while Peggy Nash, a leading contender, accused Mulcair of wanting to change the party without giving any clue as to where that change will bring the NDP. Brian Topp joined the chorus, placating Mulcair for what he said are his criticisms of the party, and for wanting to bring the NDP “backwards”. This time, BC MP Nathan Cullen watched the assault on Mulcair from the sidelines. He later explained that the notion that some people are good democrats and others less is "offensive" to him.
Mulcair steadfastly defended is position, saying again and again the NDP must adopt a more modern approach and move forward to unite all progressives. This is the only way, he says, the NDP can defeat Harper and the Conservatives. But it is precisely this push to "modernize" that has led many to accuse Thomas Mulcair of wanting NDP members to turn their back on the history and long-held social-democratic values of their party.
As unfair as it may sound, this accusation has remained the most serious and the most persistent of the leadership campaign.
The new leader of the New Democratic Party will be announced in Toronto on March 24.
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