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Mulcair on how he'll lead NDP to victory over Harper's Conservatives

Newly elected NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, when still campaigning for the job, stopped by The Tyee’s offices for an interview and laid out his vision for how to he would lead the New Democrats to defeat the Conservatives and form government. Some excerpts from that December, 2011, conversation with Tyee editor David Beers:

"For the first time in our history, we're looking at the possibility for the NDP to realize its own policies, and not push somebody else to put them in place. Because for the first time we've formed, thanks to Jack, the official Opposition. And we're looking at the possibility of forming a government in the next election, that's the sea change that we're going through right now.

"We have to convince Canadians that we're capable of managing a G7 country, which is what Canada is. And there are people who would prefer ideological purity. There are definitely people who view the world that way, and I deal with them daily, and I love them dearly, but I always look at them and I say, 'Do you actually want to be able to make into reality what you've only been able to up until now talk about? Do you want to just be in a position where you are hectoring someone else to realize some parts of your program, or do you actually want to do it?'

"My number one goal, if I am chosen as leader of the party, is to make sure that we carry out the same sort of breakthrough in the rest of the Canada that we were able to accomplish in Quebec. We got 1.6 million Quebecers to vote for the NDP in the last election, many of them people who had never voted NDP in their lives. But they had often voted for the Bloc even though they weren't sovereigntists, because they liked the Bloc's values, they liked their position on progressive issues, and we were able to unmask the Bloc on a lot of those issues... We hit [Bloc leader] Duceppe hard from his left. We called him out on asbestos. We called him out on his support for nuclear.

"We also put together a political offer to Quebecers that resonated with a lot of historical demands without saying that we have to break from Canada, or that we have to go through the tragedy of another Meech Lake or Charlottetown. That was one pillar of the bridge we built to Quebec. The other pillar was a steadfast view for sustainable development that connected well with Quebecers."

Read the rest of the interview here.

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