The federal NDP recently chose Jagmeet Singh as their new leader, replacing Tom Mulcair.

Brandon University Political Science Professor Kelly Saunders says despite winning the leadership on the first ballot, Singh faces some challenges.

"He doesn't have a seat in the House of Commons," she says, "So that's going to make it very difficult to really present himself as the new leader, and his party, and to really carve out a space for the NDP. And the second challenge, I think, is that a lot of Canadians simply aren't familiar with him. His experience has been in Ontario, as a Member of Provincial Parliament, but a lot of Canadians don't know him."

Saunders acknowledges Singh has positive attributes.

"He's under 40," she says, "So he certainly brings a nice, fresh face to the party. He's very articulate, and very well-spoken, so I think he's someone that's going to be able to really carry through the message of the NDP. And, as well, he is a Sikh man, and so that really brings greater diversity to federal politics, that I think is a positive development."

jagmeet singh oct052017Jagmeet Singh (from Jagmeet Singh's Facebook page)

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