What Jagmeet Singh must do-IMHO
Singh has to get a seat in Parliament promptly
Does Jagmeet Singh want to be a progressive agent of Change?
Is he interested in restoring some semblance of democracy to our country?
Does he want to restore integrity and ethical behavior in our national capital?
In my humble opinion-IMHO-here are a few tips he might consider:
Jagmeet Singh not only leads the leftist NDP, he also leads the party best positioned to revive some semblance of democracy in this country. Depending on how he defines his leadership he can lead a coalition of progressives who want real change.
Can he succeed where the Liberals failed so dismally?
Is the NDP willing to act with the boldness and audacity that will elevate it from its perpetual third party standing?
The Liberals and Conservatives have imposed a state of political paralysis on the country. As it is, they are a ruling clique passing power back and forth. They have different ideological roots, but when in power they are the co-dependent Tweedlee-Tweedledum parties. As the saying goes they drink each others bath water, all poured from a neoliberal water spout. After the last federal election many more Canadians came to realize the minuscule differences in the two parties. Polls also show many Liberals regret voting for this government.
There has to be a third party intervention. The NDP is the only party positioned to do so.
Since the time of PETrudeau Liberals and Conservatives have fallen on hard times. Both have mutated into neoliberal caterers to the free market juggernaut that erases countries and strips political parties of their unique identities. Governments no longer rule. In too many ways they are facilitators to the private sector, at great expense to the public sector, the environment, and everything that goes with our long term best interests. They operate on a value system enslaved to truths of convenience, dumbed down expediencies, self-interest, and parochial risk-free governance.
Nor does it enhance the integrity of these two parties that they spent a good part of their existence kowtowing to Washington’s every wish. They are in too many ways clones of their American counterparts. It is painfully obvious Mr. Trudeau is mesmerized by the presence of Donald Trump and responds more as a groupie than fellow head of state. On the international stage Canada is seen as an appendage to the empire, our UN voting record is disgraceful, our foreign policy is set in Washington.
Both Liberals and Conservatives act as indolent colonial managers. We need government that actually leads with intention, integrity and idealism. Canada needs visionary leadership.
Canadian heads of state have yet to learn basic bully psychology: Backing down to a bully only encourages more bullying. It serves to empower the bully and he becomes more contemptuous. Pluck and spirit, tend to disarm the bully. Pierre Trudeau and Tommy Douglas possessed both.
To get Mr. Singh into the House post-haste is problematic. He needs a safe seat to run in a by-election. This means some incumbent NDP MP must make the sacrifice and stand aside. This may appear as a bitter pill for the party and the individual who resigns their seat. To do otherwise is to seriously compromise the parties chances in the next election.
Two years is a long time in politics and for any leader to not have a seat is a critical issue.
If he waits until the 2019 election he may not win in his chosen riding. Many capable candidates have run more than once and never gained seats in Parliament.
As a leader with no seat it compromises his ability to fund-raise for the party and effectively recruit candidates.
In 2017 Parliament only sat 186 days. This allows any leader a lot of time to be on the road. As leader he can also absent himself as necessary.
It is also critical for a leader to be in the House for voters to see how he measures up against other leaders, confronting them directly.
Most voters do not pay much attention to politics between elections. To establish a real presence he must have time in the House. To do otherwise he can be seen as an outlier coming out of the shadows at election time, compromising his candidacy and an easy target for political opponents. The precedent of Jack Layton is non-applicable as two years is just too long out of the House.
I live in the Fraser Valley. Our community includes one of the biggest and oldest Sikh enclaves in the country. We have a Sikh MP. We have had a Sikh as provincial premier(Ujjal Dosanjh). Where we are familiar with Sikh culture, Canada is a country of enclaves. Singh must make himself known in all, especially where Sikh culture does not have a significant presence. This means time on the road and time in the House.
As the NDP approaches its February convention it has big decisions to make. As Singh aspires to be prime minister and agent of change, he has to get fully in the game-and quickly.
There are great challenges before you, from the overwhelming nature of climate change to the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and the changes necessary to build a more inclusive and generous Canada. I believe in you. Jack Layton, NDP Leader, 2003-2011