Monday, September 12, 2011
Not Feeling It
With the endorsement of Ed Broadbent- and all the structural weight that carries- the prospects of Brian Topp actually winning the NDP leadership just became more probable, he may even be the front runner. A lot will depend on the campaign, but now Topp is firmly positioned at the center of the debate. I admit, I'm a bit flabbergasted that Topp is a serious contender, even moreso that Broadbent has come out so early and enthusiastically backed his candidacy.
I've seen quite a bit of Topp, as well as read some of contributions. Smart, strategic, sauvy, Topp is clearly someone that deserves serious attention. However, the guy has never struck me as a politician, in the sense of having any gravitas necessary to resonate. In fact, Topp's dour disposition- an almost deadpan delivery- has always struck me as the prototypical backroom operative, long on political acumen, short on the overt common touch. It looks like it hurts for Topp to smile to be honest, and my instinctual reaction is that he has potential flop written all over him. Perhaps I'm missing something, but there seems nothing overtly compelling in terms of style, disposition or delivery, at least in the sense of instant frontrunner.
Is there more to this story than meets the eye? I'm not one for conspiracy theories, but the quick floating of Topp after Layton's death, the close ties to his inner circle, is he a concoction borne of a "stop Mulcair" sentiment? Seriously, when you think of successors- particularly now with Quebec's emergence- Mulcair is the first name that comes to mind, and it has been for sometime. Instead, we see a quick strike to put Topp's name into the mix, and now Broadbent comes out straight off with a gushing endorsement. Plenty of niceities directed toward Mulcair, but is Topp the bilingual counter from those who are weary of Mulcair's potential leadership? I'm inclined to think Topp has a anti-Mulcair genesis if only because he is such an AWKWARD consideration to begin with. However, when you start to wonder who could challenge Mulcair in Quebec, who has the creds that could counter his assets, then Topp starts to look plausible.
Topp running is a perplexing development in one sense, within the lens of Mulcair however, a more logical sequence begins. I'll keep an open mind moving forward to see if Topp does have the chops to be Leader of the Official Opposition, but right now I'm not feeling him at all. This candidacy looks forced and somewhat unnatural from here...
Posted by Steve V at 12:28 PM