Polygonic

That weren't no DJ, that was hazy cosmic jive

Alert: Rex Murphy disgruntled!

It’s been a while, folks! But on the eve of the NDP’s big conference, I had to just make a somewhat-related comment on Rex Murphy’s latest pontification on Tom Mulcair’s popularity conundrum. Which isn’t as much of a conundrum, or a crisis, as people will make out in the midst of the LPC race.

Rex’s musings on what Mulcair should and shouldn’t be doing can be found here:

http://www.cbc.ca/thenational/indepthanalysis/rexmurphy/story/2013/04/11/thenational-rexmurphy-081113.html

It seems to me he’d advise the Opposition Leader to try and have it both ways: come on out with bigger, bolder, more distinctive ideas – but at the same time don’t have ideas that are too big, or bold, or even distinctive.

On how to work a referendum, Murphy says that he “doesn’t get” 50%+1 as a democratic concept (it’s clearer to me than the idea of the Liberals’ “clear majority,” and much, much clearer a mandate than the plurality our government governs with). He doesn’t like Dutch Disease, for the same reason most neurotic patriots don’t like it – it smacks too much of a problem, and Canada doesn’t have problems! He thinks going after Harper is tired – what do you suggest? Don’t go after Harper, and thus actually become the “hermit” that you’re already seeing?

Anyone who thinks that Tom Mulcair is suffering because he has charisma issues has to remind themselves who got 39% in the last election. Mulcair knows that – and, for better or for worse, he emulates aspects of it. Just like Harper, he punches clearly on a discrete set of themes, and then goes tactically under the radar when it suits him.

You don’t have to love it, of course, but no one can say that isn’t a recipe for success in Canadian politics.

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