Thomas Mulcair unloaded both barrels on newly minted finance minister Joe Oliver with sound bites that grabbed the media spotlight. After watching a parade of political leaders go down in flames on a lame “stay positive” gambit, this was a welcome relief.
Of course, instead of resorting to slander and lies like the Cons are so fond of doing, Mulcair hammered Oliver — mercilessly and deservedly — with hard facts. Watch how Mulcair packs many hard-hitting and focused blows into a few attention-grabbling statements:
“He has denied global warming as a scientific reality.”
“And as one of the chiefs in British Columbia who was the object of his invective said, his attacks on First Nations go beyond mere paternalism. They’re tinted by racism.”
“Joe Oliver is an embarrassing nomination as finance minister for a G7 country. [His] information on global warming has consistently proven to be fanciful.”
Mulcair said he found the “secret swearing-in ceremony” amusing. “It’s like a cult that he’s just become a member of. If they’re proud of Joe Oliver as minister of finance, why in heaven’s name wasn’t the media allowed to attend the ceremony? I do think it’s a sign that they’re not even sure of their own appointment, frankly.”
It’s bad strategy to be the whipping boy of Con bullies hoping Canadians will take pity on you. That does not inspire leadership. People expect leaders to be able to handle bullies by turning the tables on them.
Leadership contests have always been a brutal affair. This is what people expect at a visceral level. To really defeat Harper, a leader is going to have to have the wherewithal to pound him into the mat until he is bruised and bloodied laying in the fetal position calling out for his mommy.
Failed leaders like Dion and Iggy did not garner much sympathy — or votes — when Harper made a meal of them. So isn’t about time to stop fooling around with sanctimonious bullshit?
No doubt, much can to be done to take politics to a higher level — like stopping US-style attack ads with truth-in-advertising legislation. But the war must first be won before a Geneva convention can be signed.