I have watched the NDP leadership campaign over the past seven months. There is an impressive list of candidates to replace Jack Layton. However, one candidate impresses me the most--Thomas Mulcair. The other candidate have their core strengths. Brian Topp is a strong labour organizer. Peggy Nash can connect with the NDP's tradional base. Paul Dewar has a strong commitment to human rights and the environment. Nathan Cullen seeks some big-tent vision for progressive Canadian voters. Those same candidates have their weaknesses. Brian Topp has never run for MP. I don't know if Peggy Nash would be able to reach Canadians beyond the traditional NDP base. Paul Dewar's French is weak. Also, his responses during the debates in English tended to be shallow in my opinion. While Nathan Cullen proposes some co-operation agreement between the NDP and Liberals where the two parties would run in half of the ridings across Canada, I don't know how this would work in practice. Which party gets to run a candidate in which riding?
If the NDP membership chooses Thomas Mulcair for the next leader of the NDP, Mr. Mulcair will be ready to lead the party from day one. He will not need to find a seat or improve his French. He will work to get the vote from Canadians who traditionally vote Conservative and Liberal. That means highlighting NDP policies that with attract those voters using political language to do so. The phrase "ordinary Canadians" will be banished from Thomas Mulcair's vocabulary. He will make Stephen Harper's perceived strengths on economic issues into weaknesses. He will likely get his NDP MPs to be more focused during Question Period by asking questions that deal with one subject that is relevant to many Canadians. He will show Canadians that the NDP is ready to govern.
Thomas Mulcair has knowledge and skills to lead the NDP and become Canada's next prime minister.