Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mulcair's Beard Is Not The Point

There are days that I am positive that the "image consultants" who hover around our political leaders don't have a clue what they are talking about.  Today, we find the discussion of the week is whether or not Mulcair should shave off his beard.

But media consultant Barry McLoughlin told HuffPost that if Mulcair was his client, he'd recommend he take two weeks off in the summer and shave it.
McLouglin said that although Mulcair's beard is well-styled, trimmed and looks good on him, it creates a barrier between him and the voter. Hiding some of his face makes it harder for people to connect with him, McLoughlin said — and it shouldn't come as a surprise that people may feel they don't know him personally if a third of his face is hidden.
Frankly, I actually like Mulcair's beard - he keeps it neat and it suits him.  I may not want to kiss it, but when I'm looking at a politician, that isn't what I think about anyhow - on that score, that's a discussion between Mulcair and his wife.

Mulcair's real problem isn't his beard.  It never has been.

Frankly, the issue that he is facing isn't his beard, it's his politics.  His job, as leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, is to hold Harper and his gang of thugs accountable.  I'm sorry to say it, but frankly he's been failing miserably at it.

It seems as though every time that Harper does something abusive to this country, Mulcair barks at the Liberals.

Okay, I get it.  Mulcair sees the Liberals as a threat.  However, falling into the Stephen Harper pattern of trying to discredit the Liberals at every turn distracts him from doing his job - which should be taking Harper to task for absolutely everything that he does.

If Mulcair wants to reside at this nation's most coveted address, 24 Sussex Drive, he has to show Canadians that he is capable of far better than Harper has provided.  Instead, he more often than not seems to be in cahoots with Harper - attacking the Liberals instead of the Conservative government.

In the midst of the Senate Expenses Scandal, we haven't heard Mulcair make changes to his party's accountability in the House.  All we've heard is a glib, simplistic bunch of nonsense about abolishing the Senate, without actually addressing the far more central issue of accountability in Parliament.

The problem isn't that Mulcair doesn't attack the Conservatives - he certainly does - but rather that he doesn't focus his attacks.  Instead of holding the government to account for its actions and abuses of power, he dilutes the effectiveness of his comments by always seeming to add "the Liberals do it too".

The effect is like watching a cat being taunted by magpies - the cat simply cannot decide which magpie to go after, and fails to go after either effectively.  Mulcair has relatively little excuse for his performance, either.  There is no shortage of things that he could be calling Harper and his minions to task for.

First and foremost, Mulcair has to step forth and show himself to be capable of holding the current government to account.  He hasn't done that very well to date.  If he wishes to be the man sitting in 24 Sussex in a couple of years' time, Mulcair needs to get his focus sorted out.  At the rate things are going, even his ability to hang on to Stornaway is becoming questionable.  

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