The New Democratic Party is choosing a new leader, and, as you might expect, they are getting down to the one or two issues that are paramount for electoral success and good governance. And, as with the late Jack Layton’s moustache, Thomas Mulcair’s beard is a hot topic. Apparently, there is a question as to whether or not a Prime Minister can have a beard.


(As you can see, this is an eminently important matter to me.)

 From Mitchel Raphael:

A few NDP MPs are wondering whether leadership candidate Thomas Mulcair can be prime ministerial material with a beard. When the late Jack Layton became leader, there was a debate whether he should shave off his moustache. When one MP mentioned this to Capital Diary in the House foyer it didn’t take long to find two prime ministers’ portraits on nearby walls where the subject had a beard: Alexander Mackenzie (1873-1878) and Mackenzie Bowell (1894–1896). If Mulcair wins, he will be the second current leader with a beard. Seatless Bloc Québécois Leader Daniel Paillé also sports one.

Oh, but if there is any mercy in this cosmos, those of us with beards will finally escape persecution and return to the halcion days of 1896.

Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.


  1. If we’re going back all the way to the 19th century, then I want to see mutton chops on our next president.

Comments are closed.