Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Jagmeet Juggernaut Re-Energizes the NDP

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Jagmeet Juggernaut Re-Energizes the NDP

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Jagmeet juggernaut re-energizes the NDP


An editorial from the Halifax Chronicle Herald, published Oct. 3:

Going into the 2015 federal election, New Democrat Leader Tom Mulcair seemed to have the right stuff (credibility, gravitas, experience) to replace Stephen Harper as prime minister. But in a shock to the high-flying NDP, Mr. Mulcair had nothing to counter what turned out to be the real story of the campaign -- the return of Trudeaumania.

Progressive voters were swept off their feet by the youth, charisma and "sunny ways" of Justin Trudeau. They cheerfully danced and selfied him right into the PM's office.

On Saturday, the NDP decided to fight charisma with charisma by boldly choosing a young, high-energy leader of their own. Jagmeet Singh, a 38-year-old Toronto-area lawyer and deputy leader of the Ontario NDP, decisively defeated a field of party stalwarts on the first ballot.

As the first Sikh and member of any visible minority to lead a federal party, Mr. Singh raises the NDP's progressive cred and its capacity to win support in immigrant-rich places like urban Ontario. But he has also lived in Newfoundland and Labrador and has stumped for provincial NDPers in Alberta, B.C. and Nova Scotia. He's fluent in English, French and Punjabi and in the experience of people everywhere who have had to confront prejudice and work hard from modest circumstances to achieve success.

A large part of his win was outworking his rivals in raising funds and signing up new members (also an early indicator of Mr. Trudeau's future success). And he was unrivalled on the excitement front. His colourful, proudly-worn turbans, fashion-plate attire, confident, engaging speaking manner -- and a viral video in which he responded with "love and inclusion" to a bigoted heckler -- all raised party hopes he will match Mr. …

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