Endorsement: Thomas Mulcair.
The McGill Daily: Why are you endorsing Thomas Mulcair?
Matthew Dubé: Back in the fall, I endorsed Thomas Mulcair and I’m still extremely comfortable with that position. I have always had a good working relationship with him and I have a lot of appreciation for the work he has done and can do for the party… I’m definitely supporting Thomas Mulcair.
MD: What are your thoughts on claims that Mulcair will be moving the party closer to the political centre?
Dubé: I think that it isn’t a huge issue, a mountain being made out of molehills. He has said quite clearly that the approach maybe needs to be adjusted a little bit in terms of how we interact and communicate with folks, and I don’t think that’s a huge difference from what Jack Layton did and wanted to continue doing as leader of the NDP. We don’t need to get away from the core of our policies but I think what he wants to do if find better or different ways of explaining what our ideas are to the electorate. So, I think that’s the approach he has taken and I think it has been misconstrued as a huge move to the centre in a “Blairesque” way… I don’t think it’s quite as extreme as some people make it out to be.
MD: What are your general thoughts on the leadership race?
Dubé: We have heard a lot about how tepid its been, how boring it’s been, but I think that’s a testament to the fact that despite, in some cases, obvious differences, I think that [on] the big issues we all tend to be on the same page and it’s more the refined details that tend to be points of divergence. I think that throughout the whole process as a caucus, despite the fact that obviously most MPs are supporting different candidates – obviously some more than others – I think we have been able to maintain unity, which apparently is something we were supposed to lose. It’s been a difficult process – none of us wanted this, obviously – but we had no choice and I think we will be stronger for it at the end.
MD: What effects have Ed Broadbent’s comments had on the race?
Dubé: In the spirit of honesty, I think it was a little disappointing because we were so close to have gotten through without any big arguments. Nonetheless, I can’t fault Mr. Broadbent for giving his two cents. I think he has earned his right to make his comments as a former leader… I obviously personally disagree with the comments. I don’t think it is necessary to get into name-calling or finger pointing.