|New NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh|
I did have a sense a couple weeks ago that Singh would prevail easily and that turned out to be the case.
Singh is a star but he also seems to have all the goods needed for leadership success, including policy chops, vision, compassion, supreme communication skills, and charisma. He commands attention and when he receives it, he impresses.
Like I wrote a couple weeks ago, I think many Canadians including many Quebecers will give Singh a chance and a listen and most will be impressed. His turban, as a practising Sikh, ought not to offend anyone who listens to and understands Singh's story as to why he chose to wear a turban in the first place - as an act of rebellion in favour of social justice.
Some critics have written him off as a silver-spooned socialist who likes the finer things in life. On that, I say, "So what?" His description of his choices to dress impeccably well, as well as earn a law degree and even learn mixed martial arts, all fit in with a member of a visible minority who was "arming" himself against racism and oppression. Singh's description of his personal history rings true to me and I find him extremely sympathetic.
Now, Singh will get the chance to challenge underlying / sub-conscious racism that still exists in Canadian society. Just by standing on the leaders' stage, he'll confront old prejudices.
In the end, his power as leader may indeed end up one day or year soon truly challenging Justin Trudeau's Liberals and Andrew Scheer's Conservatives for government. He brings to this considerable strength and promise.
I'm looking forward to watching him over the next several years as he begins the process of challenging for power in Canada. It's true that Justin Trudeau's Liberals have disappointed many progressives and clearly stand too closely with the Conservatives on too many issues that need real action today. Singh's NDP will provide a viable threat to the Liberals on the left and force them into action on progressive issues, or risk defeat and huge losses of support to their left-wing rivals in the next election.