Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Olivia Chow as Next NDP Leader? Why Not?

On the front page of the Toronto Star yesterday, there was a small headline suggesting that Jack Layton's widow, Olivia Chow, might be a possibility as the next NDP leader.

I think she would be a good choice. She's urban and chic, and one of the more progressive members of the party.

The media claims that Thomas Mulcair is a front runner, but I think that would be a mistake. I used to like Mulcair until he attacked Libby Davies, simply because she raised awareness to the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza.

She was forced to withdraw her statement.

Besides, when Mulcair decided to enter federal politics, he couldn't decide whether to run for the NDP or the Conservatives. Hardly a committed dipper.

He's also combative and sometimes nasty.

Instead of a clear alternative, it could be a choice between Stephen Harper and Stephen Harper lite. No thanks.

I'm very worried about the future of our country, however.  We have thrived as a centrist nation, with the PCs and Liberals, taking from both the right and the left, while avoiding the excesses of either.

Some have suggested that Stephen Harper is governing from the centre, but he has simply moved the centre so far to the right, that it now rests at Tea Party headquarters.

And when members of the NDP caucus tried to have the term 'socialist' removed from their mandate, they were met with strong opposition.  Pat Martin was even booed off the stage. 

So where do centrists, like myself, go?

I've voted NDP in the past but the constant chanting of "big banks, big oil, big gas" became like fingernails on a blackboard.

I'm not anti-corporation, but expect them to pay their fair share and act like responsible citizens.

So I prefer Bob Rae's philosophy.  Capitalism is here to stay, so we have to ask ourselves, what kind of capitalism do we want for our country?

Definitely not Harper's idea of capitalism, in an unrestrained free market.  And not the kind where we make enemies of big business.

That being said, I would not be opposed to Olivia Chow as leader of the opposition, or even prime minister, though it will be tough.  Unfortunately, the right has all the money, and money usually determines the outcome of elections.

But she could certainly capture the imagination of the electorate, and hold on to Quebec support as Jack's widow.

We need a shake up at the federal level.  Olivia Chow heading the NDP and Justin Trudeau the Liberals, would go a long way into restoring our image, and might just get people out to vote.

Dare I dream?


  1. Olivia is a smart and talented woman, but electing a leader who doesn't speak French would be pretty insulting to the province that gave them more than half their seats. I think that they'd do better to think outside the caucus box, as they did when they elected Layton.

  2. I think it would put too much pressure on her at a difficult time. Not that she's unworthy.

  3. I've heard Justin speak and he doesn't seem "seasoned" to me. He seemed unprepared in his delivery. Ability to deliver means delivering.

  4. One problem with Olivia Chow though. She doesn't speak French.

  5. I think Olivia is a lovely lady, but have to agree the inability to speak French is a big drawback. I also agree she isn't emotionally ready. No one could be, after what she's just been through.
    Justin Trudeau, backed by the right advisors and supporters, could indeed capture the imagination of the centrists.