There will be a political party leadership vote in March of this year that could possibly have a much greater impact on the lives of the average Canadian than will anything Mitt or Newt could ever do or say.
But most Canadians don’t seem to be all that interested. Not that they don’t care much about politics, they just don’t seem to bother paying attention to anything political, Canadian style.
Which is a pity.
Or maybe it is just that we up here treat U.S. politics much like any other spectator sport; we look and cheer and laugh and munch our popcorn and then the next day forget about it and go about our daily lives.
But, the upcoming vote for the leader of the federal New Democratic Party of Canada could conceivably have a much greater impact on this country than any newt or mitt could ever have.
Here’s the thing; the New Democratic Party now has ” Official Opposition” status in Canada’s House of Parliament, and their new leader could quite possibly be Canada’s next Prime Minister.
Not only that, but the people in the running for that NDP top spot seem to far outstrip anyone the U.S. political scene can these days serve up.
For instance, on the Republican side in the U.S., there’s Newt Gingrich, who is on record as proclaiming Spanish as “the language of the ghetto.”
On the NDP side up here, almost all of the seven remaining leadership candidates can at least get by fairly well in both of Canada’s official languages. Does Mitt know any languages other than English?
And for sheer multi-cultural appeal, you can’t top the turban proudly sported by pharmacist and NDP leadership candidate Martin Singh of Nova Scotia. Think he’d be allowed into any Republican gathering anywhere in the U.S., let alone put on the ballot? We think not.
Fact is, plenty of people figure the strong showing displayed by the New Democratic Party in Canada’s last federal election was due mainly to the hard work and undeniable charisma of the late Jack Layton, and that the NDP will never again duplicate their recent success.
But, don’t be so sure. If the Conservative government under Stephen Harper continues to act in what some say is increasingly a “heavy handed” manner, and if the Liberals can’t locate a road map out of their current position in the wilderness of Canadian politics, then anything is possible. As well, recent news reports indicate membership numbers across the country for the NDP seem to be swelling quickly. Maybe some people are paying attention after all.
Yes, it might be great fun to watch Newt and Mitt and the rest of them stumble and bumble their way across the U.S. political landscape, but in the end their performances will be about as important as last week’s hockey scores
What is important is the future direction of Canada. That’s why the NDP leadership contest is important, and that’s why it should draw more attention from Canadians than any side show an increasingly irrelevant U.S. can offer.