Either Tom Mulcair doesn't know his ass from his elbow or, as some of us suspect, he's a pandering huckster with a loose tongue who, like Harper, sees riches in trawling for bottom votes. Either way, he's not the sort of leader any Canadian should want to re-open our constitution.
Yet if Mulcair becomes our next prime minister, a real possibility, and if he should actually follow through with his outlandish promises, a far more remote possibility, we're in for a constitutional donnybrook that could make America's fiasco in Iraq look quick and tidy.
Abolition/castration of the Senate - constitutional amendment. Quebec separation (50% + 1) - constitutional amendment. Electoral reform (abolition of "one voter/one vote") - constitutional amendment.
The irony is that Mulcair will have to do battle with the clear pronouncements of the Supreme Court of Canada, the very institution that has, alone, defended Canada from the darkest instincts and worst excesses of the Harper regime.
We hear from some New Dems that much of this can be done without constitutional amendment, a position that eerily echoes Harper's own in recent years. Harper/Mulcair - Mulcair/Harper? It has that wafting stench of an imperial premiership, the very thing we've been living under for the past decade.
These same New Dems foam at the mouth at the mere suggestion that their boy, like his rivals, is truly neoliberal. They point to baubles such as corporate taxes, day care and carbon pricing as if that somehow proves their point. Nonsense. I'll now recycle a passage from a comment I wrote this morning in the previous post:
One way or the other power will be in the hands of a neoliberal. None of the prospects is capable of breaking the neoliberal/corporatist/free market fundamentalist stranglehold on Canada. Some believe that promises of a small hike in corporate tax rates and carbon pricing show Mulcair and Trudeau are not neoliberal but that's the sort of loose talk you get from people who have no understanding of neoliberalism and its companion afflictions.
Like it or not there is a world government and it's corporate, wielding incredible powers that once resided as elements of national sovereignty now freely surrendered. Ever since the Thatcher/Reagan/Mulroney era we've given away the shop and our democracy, our society and our economy have been degraded accordingly.
As I see it, the first step to free ourselves of the yoke of neoliberalism is to smash the corporate media cartel. Strict regulations controlling concentration of ownership and media cross-ownership are essential if Canadians are ever to have access to the fullest possible range of information and opinion across the broadest political spectrum. When the national media have fallen under the control of corporatist forces the public is inevitably fed a corporatist message. You can tell when that has occurred. It's manifest when the media are transformed from the watchdog of government (on the side of the public) into the government's lap dog (a powerfully symbiotic relationship) which is what we've seen for a very long time.
Do you think you're going to get that sort of bold action from a Tom Mulcair or a Justin Trudeau? Not unless you're lying to yourself.
Fact is I don't trust Tom Mulcair, not one bit. He can't deliver on his endless promises without plunging Canada into similarly endless constitutional chaos that will inevitably leave the country divided, region pitted against region, our already grievously divided people ever further divided.
If I had to pick between the two (and thank Odin I don't), I'd vote for Trudeau if only because he's far more level headed than Mulcair and, in the result, more benign.
Post-Harper, Canada badly needs to regroup. It doesn't need a hot head promising to embark on constitutional Crusades.