The right versus left: divide and conquer

Trudeau’s legendary name is a big threat to the Harper Government. Tories are trying to dilute the competition

Many of the columns posted onto the National Post’s — Canada’s right-leaning newspaper — website over the past week offered an idea that shared a sentiment, one that was echoed by our local MP David Wilks.

“Could the NDP be closer to the centre than the Liberals?,” asked Rex Murphy. “Strangely enough, that’s possible.”

The praise for Mulcair seems to come as part of a package deal — they happen to also criticize Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s competence as a party leader.

“Mr. Mulcair has shown very interesting signs he is not to be a doormat of welcome to the age of Justin,” Mr. Murphy wrote.

Speaking with The Echo last week, Mr. Wilks credited NDP leader Tom Mulcair for effectively holding the Conservative Party accountable in office, and he also criticized Mr. Trudeau’s lack of platform.

It’s not to say that Mr. Mulcair is earning credit where it’s not due — anybody who’s watched question period knows that Mr. Mulcair is a strong leader of the opposition.

But no matter how strong he builds his good name to be, most right-wing voters won’t ever jump ship to the NDP.

Propping up Mr. Mulcair is instead likely to cannibalize support for Trudeau.

Right now, the Conservative Party has a monopoly on half of the political spectrum’s ideology, while the Liberals and NDP have to fight over the other half. Instead of taking on one political party mano a mano, the Conservatives are strategically poised to wedge the NDP and Liberals apart. Fragment the opposition, which may not seem fair, but the tables have turned from how they were in the 1990s. Back then, a dismal NDP party gave the Liberals a monopoly on the left, while the Reform/Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties fought over the right half.

Trudeau’s legendary name is a big threat to the Harper Government. They’re trying to dilute the competition.