He’s younger, hip and brimming with charisma, a likable rookie with a watch for type and a strong following on social media who desires to be Canada’s subsequent prime minister.
If Jagmeet Singh‘s bona fides offer an echo of Justin Trudeau‘s at-times-unlikely journey to the top job in Canadian politics, that’s no coincidence. In truth, it’s in all probability why New Democrat members flocked to make the 38-year-old Singh their new federal chief.
READ MORE: Jagmeet Singh simply wins race to change into NDP chief
Singh, a turbaned Sikh, made historical past Sunday when he grew to become the primary non-Caucasian chief of a federal political celebration – an indication, maybe, of how severe the NDP is about sweeping away its previous disappointments and management woes and giving Trudeau an actual fight.
“He’s got a bit of the ‘I know how to catch attention’ flavour that we have to say is going to help us,” stated Craig Scott, considered one of a variety of distinguished former NDP MPs who obtained blown out in the 2015 bloodletting that swept Trudeau’s Liberals into energy.
“We have any person who had actually has fought their approach, made their very own title, has not obtained their movie star as a matter of royal endowment. That makes a distinction.
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“Even if Canadians respond to somebody they grew up with and came to like for that reason, they will make a distinction between somebody who has made their own name and somebody who had their name given to them.”
Uniting the New Democrats – together with the 44 present members of the federal caucus – and rebuilding the celebration’s fundraising moxie are among the many prime challenges Singh should now confront as he takes over the management function from Tom Mulcair.
He will even have to rapidly title an interim chief in the House of Commons, since he lacks a federal seat of his personal – a scenario that poses each a problem and a possibility, stated Christo Aivalis, a postdoctoral fellow in the historical past division on the University of Toronto.
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It additionally evokes one other comparability with you-know-who.
“Justin Trudeau had a seat in the House of Commons, but he spent relatively little time in the House of Commons compared to Tom Mulcair,” Aivalis stated. “In the end, he is prime minister.”
Singh, who has represented the using in the Ontario legislature since 2011, grew to become deputy chief of the celebration’s provincial wing in 2015, a task he surrendered in May when he determined to search the federal job.
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Prior to getting into politics, Singh labored as a felony defence lawyer – a background that likely knowledgeable the justice plank of his management marketing campaign, which included a push to decriminalize medicine past marijuana and a pitch for a federal ban on racial profiling.
He stated he is aware of first-hand what it’s like to be racially profiled throughout arbitrary avenue checks, a observe identified in policing circles as “carding.”
“When I talk about the treatment I received as a result of my identity, being stopped by the police, I faced a little bit of what it is like to be treated unfairly, to face injustice based on the way you look,” Singh stated in an interview after Sunday’s victory.
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“When I tackle inequality of any form, injustice of any form, I bring that personal experience with me.”
Born in the east Toronto neighborhood of Scarborough to Punjabi mother and father, Singh’s upbringing included stints in St. John’s, N.L., and Windsor, Ont.
He’s also called a vogue fanatic – he has graced a number of best-dressed and style-icon lists in the Toronto – and for his expertise as a combined martial arts fighter.
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But it’s the plain distinction that maybe carries probably the most weight: Singh is a practising Sikh with a penchant for brightly colored turbans – a spiritual symbol-turned-fashion assertion that the brand new NDP chief wears with equal doses of dashing and defiance.
“There’s no question in my mind Jagmeet is a game changer,” stated NDP nationwide director Robert Fox. “He’s a new, fresh, dynamic voice and a new, fresh dynamic face on the Canadian political landscape.”
“I’ve been seeing folk here today in the room and I’ve been seeing folk across the country – young, brown men and young brown women, people of colour – who for the first time are really pumped about the opportunity to be acknowledged, to be respected, to be supported, to see themselves at the podium and to imagine themselves at the podium.”
COMMENTARY: Jagmeet Singh and the NDP’s Quebec conundrum
Of course, the NDP is hoping Singh will higher enable the celebration to join with ethnic minorities each in Ontario and elsewhere.
But some observers have instructed Singh could possibly be in for a tough journey in Quebec, the place overt shows of spiritual religion will be thought of a political legal responsibility.
It stays a big difficulty in Quebec, which opted in the 1960s to separate church and state, Bloc Quebecois Leader Martine Ouellet stated lately.
“It is not the turban itself,” she famous. “It is what it means.”
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The celebration is aware of the perils of points of religion in Quebec. In its disastrous 2015 election marketing campaign, NDP momentum hit a brick wall when Mulcair obtained caught in a debate over the query of whether or not to enable Muslim face coverings often known as niqabs throughout citizenship ceremonies.
Mulcair had little selection however to assist the niqab, an unpopular place in Quebec. It’s onerous to think about Singh doing something in a different way. But Singh’s youthful, extra trendy sensibility imply he’ll have a bonus against Trudeau that his predecessor might solely dream about.
WATCH: Jagmeet Singh wins NDP management race, crowd goes wild
“I don’t think he understands, on the same level, the struggles that people face right now in Canada,” Singh stated of Trudeau.
“I also can say that I don’t fully appreciate all the struggles people face. I’ve had a glimpse of the struggles … it gives me a passion and an appreciation he doesn’t have.”