News  “McGill Five” endorsements: Jamie Nicholls

The 2012 NDP leadership race

Endorsement: Thomas Mulcair

The McGill Daily: Why are you endorsing Thomas Mulcair?

Jamie Nicholls: He is a Quebecer, lived here for most of his life, and he understands what Quebec has gone through in the past thirty, forty years, he has that firsthand knowledge of the province and I don’t see that from the other candidates. I think [Mulcair] is the best case to convince Quebecers that we are ready to do business. I’ve been endorsing Mulcair since September, since even before he started his leadership race; I was one of the people who were pushing him to run.

MD: What do you think of claims that Mulcair will be moving the party more to the political centre if elected?

JN: I’ve talked a lot with [Mulcair] about this and the idea is not moving the party more to the centre, but its more that he is going to bring centre voters to us. Not by changing the way the NDP does things, but [by] changing the way we deliver the message.

MD: What are your thoughts on the race so far?

JN: Up until about last week the race has been very collegial, with not much rancor or conflict that you see in other leadership races. The Liberals are known for having very rancorous leadership races where parts of the party split off to have open battles with each other, and up until now we haven’t seen that with our party. But after [the comments from] Ed Broadbent came out things took a turn for the worse in that sense and that’s unfortunate that that happened, but we are going to move towards this weekend with a positive attitude

MD: How do you think that rancor has affected the party?

JN: I don’t think it has affected the party, but I can surely say that people supported us in the last election that didn’t normally support us before. They’re looking for a more positive type of politics and I think that Ed Broadbent really exemplifies the old guard of the party, the old way of thinking. I think we need a new spirit in there and a new way of doing things, the way that Jack Layton showed how politics can be positive and hopeful. I think we need that more than divisive strategies.