Bill Kelly: For Jagmeet Singh, the hard part is just beginning

Jagmeet Singh listens to a speech before the announcement he won the first ballot in the NDP leadership race to be elected the leader of the federal New Democrats in Toronto on Sunday, October 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Well that didn’t take long.

Jagmeet Singh grabbed more than 50 per cent of the vote on the first ballot and won a resounding victory in the NDP  leadership race.

Singh has every right to bask in the afterglow of an impressive victory, but on day one as leader, he must realize that he has a lot on his plate.

READ MORE: Jagmeet Singh’s youthful charisma tipped to help NDP in fight against Trudeau

Make no mistake about it, there are some huge rifts within the federal NDP that Singh will have to deal with on issues like pipelines, the oil sands and international trade agreements, to name just a few.

Then, there’s  the daunting challenge of selling Singh and the NDP to Canadian voters.

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Non-NDPers took a passive interest in the leadership race, but now that it’s concluded, many of them will want to find out just who Jagmeet Singh is, and what he stands for.

One of the best ways for Singh to display his skills would be to go toe to toe with Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer in Parliament, but Singh doesn’t have a seat in the Commons and doesn’t seem in any hurry to do so, and political observers find that curious, to say the least.

Winning a leadership campaign is an arduous task, but faced with these, and other challenges, Singh will realize that the hard part is just beginning.

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