After the recent loss of the election the New Democratic Party of Canada must resist the perfectly natural urge to demand someone take responsibility and provide their immediate resignations along with it.
This recent defeat, coupled with the Party’s loss of its Official Opposition status, is made all the more painful given how tangible the prospect of forming Canada’s first social democratic Federal Government. More Canadians than ever support the policies the NDP has long championed.
I’ll admit my immediate and emotional reaction to the defeat was to expect Mr Mulcair’s almost immediate resignation as party leader.
Yet, upon some more reasoned consideration, the immediate resignation of Mr Mulcair would serve the interests of the Liberals and Conservatives, far more than it would serve the interests of Canadians and the NDP.
The Conservatives are about to undergo their own leadership process and it seems unlikely they will seek a quick decision on a permanent new leader.
An immediate resignation by Mr Mulcair would ensure that Justin Trudeau and his new Liberal Government would face only interim leaders, and opposition parties distracted from their role of holding the Government to account.
Whether Tom Mulcair is the person to lead the NDP in the next Federal election is a question for another day.
Right now, the NDP needs an effective parliamentary leader and whatever his other flaws might be, his performance in Parliament facing Stephen Harper was impressive.
Tom Mulcair is the best candidate for the job for the time being. Allowing him to do that job, while the Party regroups and plans its next move would be the best thing for the NDP and for all Canadians.