On the day of Jack Layton's funeral, Jane Taber wrote a flattering piece about Brian Topp and his emerging candidacy to become the next permanent leader of the NDP. I first took notice of Mr. Topp's existence in February 2010 after he appeared on the Soloman Show to promote his book "How we almost gave the Tories the boot", where he detailed the attempted coup of December 2008. He was one of the primary architects of the NDP's move to form a coalition with the Liberals to overthrow the newly democratically re-elected Conservatives. After the attempt to seize power failed, Mr Topp suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. Far be it from me to dispute or belittle the diagnosis, I just don't think that someone who has a nervous breakdown after his own party's failed effort to seize power is a strong candidate to one day become Prime Minister. My apologies to anyone who suffered PSTD after a genuinely traumatic event.
Scott Reid seems to think that Topp's candidacy is a sign that Layton's inner circle is trying to keep Thomas Mulcair out of the leadership chair, and Scotty might actually be right on this one. Topp would be a good candidate for interim leader rather than permanent leader. The best possible replacement is Gary Doer, but his candidacy is unlikely unless he wants to leave his diplomatic post in Washington. It is also likely that Doer is considered too far to the right by many of the NDP membership. Peggy Nash should get the most support from the unions given her past as a high profile union leader. If there is indeed a strong movement within the NDP to keep Mulcair out of Stornoway, then perhaps there is hope for them. I would support Topp over Mulcair without a moment's hesitation, but neither of them are in Gary Doer's league.