|The "Bearded Wonder" certainly|
has folks abuzz this weekend.
After a rather tepid summer for the NDP in which their only newsworthy announcement was their parroting of the Reform-a-Cons indecent position on the willful destruction of Gaza, this comes as some good news.
Yes, they've definitely scooped the Cons and the Libs with a truly positive suggestion for reducing wage inequality (at least a little), reducing poverty (somewhat) and giving consumers more ability to consume (which in the end, is good for the economy...right?) They even have a catchy phrase to go along with it: "People who work full time shouldn't have to live in poverty".
So the "Bearded Wonder's" plan is to introduce this bill in Parliament within the next few weeks and folks from coast to coast to coast are all enthusiastic that something good might finally be coming their way from Ottawa.
But hold on a moment! The Reform-a-Cons have a majority in the House, which they tend to wield like a sledge hammer. Everyone knows they are pro big business, free markets, privatization, small government and definitely against anything remotely Socialistic. Mulcair's bill, even if it has full Liberal support (which it won't, most of them will probably have someplace better to be when it comes time to vote) doesn't have a western journalist in Syria's chance of survival. So what the hell is he thinking?
|Stephen Harper's collection of|
festering Bridge Trolls!
So is this little ray of hope and sunshine from the NDP nothing but an empty gesture aimed at playing politics at the expense of the Evil Empire? Well of course it is. But it's a little more than that too.
Since the Cons have introduced the notion of the perpetual campaign to the Canadian political scene, all three main party's have been jostling for the limelight. Thus far, the photogenic Prince Justin seems to have done the better job of this with his perpetual message of "hope, hope and more hope". He's not really saying what exactly we're hoping for as yet, but hey, anything is better than four more years of Harper and his merry band of bobble-heads.
All the while, Mulcair has been plodding along, being perhaps, the best Opposition leader in recent memory. But being good at roasting the government in Question Period doesn't really score a lot of points with the GP (general public). NO one watches CPAC (except for journalists and political junkies) so most folks don't really "get" just how good Tommy is at his job.
So with 2015 just around the corner this $15 minimum wage bill is certainly a good way of getting the GP talking about the NDP again and you can bet that it will be a central plank in their 2015 election platform. And by forcing the Cons to unanimously vote the bill down, you can bet Mulcair will be reminding us at every turn how Citizen Stephen and the Harpercondriacs don't want Canadians to make a decent living wage. Because they're evil and all.
So what are the chances of this bill ever receiving any serious discussion? Well, none in the current Parliament. But there is a very good chance that the next Government will be a minority, so if the Dippers can hold on to the momentum they gained in 2011, they could well be in a position to wield some significant clout. If they're not the outright governing party, they could be the ones holding the votes that sustain whom ever is in the driver's seat. And with the skillful use of "give and take politics", that's a pretty good place to be sitting.
So in the short term, Tom's minimum wage bill might seem like some empty politicking, but in the long term, there might actually be a glimmer of hope of him actually pulling this off. But to do this, he has to keep his momentum going and keep people talking about the NDP. This weekend, he's done just that.
|An idea who's time is long overdue?|