NDP Leader Tom Mulcair talks politics, polls, Trump and Justin Bieber

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair sat down with ET Canada to discuss everything from the recent polls to Republican candidate Donald Trump and even Justin Bieber.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair sat down with ET Canada to discuss everything from the recent polls to Republican candidate Donald Trump and even Justin Bieber. (ET Canada)

It’s been a good day for NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

new Ipsos poll (conducted Thursday for Global News) found the New Democrats have a small lead over the Liberals and Conservatives. The poll found  33 per cent of respondents favoured Mulcair’s party, while the Liberals took 30 per cent and the Conservatives 29 per cent. The Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party tied in last with four per cent.

Of course, Mulcair has been in politics long enough to know he shouldn’t get too excited by the numbers with such a tight race. In a new interview with ET Canada’s Roz Weston, the bearded candidate for prime minister is cautiously optimistic.

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“We know there’s still eight weeks of hard work between now and the election. We’re not gonna let up,” Mulcair said. “And I’ve learned in my career that you can’t take a poll and stick it in the ballot box.

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However, he admitted “I prefer the polls like this than another option.”

As his campaign rolls along, he took to Facebook for a Q&A before arriving at our studio, where he discussed a wide range of topics – including the idea that he may one day be dealing with possible U.S. President Donald Trump.

“I guess that’s theoretically possible after the election in ’16,” he said with a laugh. “I don’t know him as an individual, but I get to watch the character that is Donald Trump and I think American voters are pretty smart people. I’ll let them decide.”

He’s more assured about his party’s support for the CBC, which has been the subject of scandals in the recent past. Mulcair says the NDP is very supportive of Canada’s public broadcaster.

“We’re the only political party who have said we’re going to reverse the Conservatives’ $115-million funding cut to the CBC,” he adds. “We find that it’s a national institution. It’s incredibly important to tell our stories to each other but I’ve been more convinced of that than ever for having spent the last four years travelling the country constantly.”

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“It’s a big country. Second biggest country in the world. Two languages. Many cultures. Many backgrounds,” he said. “It’s the best thing that we have to tell our stories to each other.”

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Surprisingly, he’s also very supportive of Justin Bieber. We took the opportunity to play the politician a clip from the singer’s new song “What Do You Mean”, which is set to come out in full tomorrow. The track got Mulcair’s official endorsement.

“I like the backbeat,” he said. “It was driven, sounded islandy, and his voice is good.”

Watch Roz test Mulcair’s Kardashian knowledge below and catch the full interview on tonight’s ET Canada.

~ By Jason Richards