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The Globe and Mail

The comedy of complaining about Tory attacks

Editorial cartoon by Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail

Congratulations to Thomas Mulcair on winning the NDP leadership. It takes guts to run for office and even more to go for the top job of a party. Whether you like the man or not, becoming the Leader of the Opposition is a significant achievement. He and his peers deserve some admiration for their commitment to public service at the highest levels.

Not to rain on my own parade of positivity, particularly given my own personal preference for persuasion to pugilism, but it really is quite a farce to see quite a few opponents of the Conservative Party outraged, yet again, because it issued talking points critical of Mulcair just as he was being named leader. Why there would be expectations of some false grace period is puzzling. There is not a great deal of grace in politics these days. We should lament that and work to change that but it is what it is for now. The operating environment is the operating environment.

Anyone who attended the NDP convention on the weekend unsurprisingly heard a non-stop slam of Stephen Harper, both his government and his approach. That sort of critique is the red meat served at partisan conventions, no matter the party. On Friday in their leadership showcases, candidate after candidate was trying to cast themselves as Harper's worst nightmare: Electing a leader to take the Prime Minister out of office was the proposition they all offered. There were no French kisses for Harper, just a flurry of fists. So be it. No crocodile tears from this corner.

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Need anyone be reminded that only days ago Ed Broadbent offered a seething take on Mulcair and his abilities. Ed's not a dirty, rotten Tory so there were few complaints about his manners when he dropped his failed bomb.

The Tory talking points issued Saturday won't win a Pulitzer Prize. They contained the expected rhetorical rocks and time will tell whether they break any glass at Mulcair manor.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was more wit and wisdom in our politics from all sides? Damn right. That the talking-point menus from all parties didn't sound like a script from the shopping channel? Yup.

But the usual suspects in the anti-Harper world moaning about the meanness of chastising Mulcair too quickly is laughable.

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