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Hypocrite? Jagmeet Singh cultivates sense of luxury that doesn't comport with party 'message'

Tiffany Burroughs
Updated: 3 June 2023
2 min to read

It’s unusual that the alleged voice of the NDP – originally the bastion of the working-class in Canada – should be doing interviews with GQ and Toronto Life.

For one whose convictions are rooted in social justice and poverty reduction, demanding additional tax on Canada’s rich as a means to achieve these goals, Toronto Life offers a somewhat contradictory perspective into the NDP’s leader, taking time to describe his “$2,000 bespoke suits.” BuzzFeed equally has touted him as “the most stylish politician in Canada by like a million kilometres.”

Indeed, they acknowledge as such, noting that Singh has a “taste for dandy luxuries that don’t comport with the monkish minimalism of his party. He wears bespoke suits in the slim British style—his favourite is a brown tweed with cobalt-blue stripes, designed by a tailor in New Delhi, which he often pairs with a millennial-pink turban. He owns two Rolex watches, an Oyster Perpetual Datejust and a ­Submariner (both were gifts); a crimson BMW coupe; and six designer bicycles. ‘I have just an absurd number of bikes,’ he says. ‘More than one person should have.'” Singh owns a house near Trinity Bellwoods Park which bought in 2016 for $800,000, well above the normal means available to the average Canadian. He even took time in a separate article with GQ to tell his fellow politicians that they should improve their “fashion and style.”

Even before Singh entered into a political profession and was involved in the law scene, he was no stranger to the spotlight as “street style photographers stopped him and Gurratan, shooting [him and his] brothers like GQ models, their sleeves artfully rolled, their faces conveying practiced insouciance as they leaned against their retro fixies.”

Even his kirpan, the sacred Sikh ceremonial dagger worn on one’s person, is ostentatious in nature, having been made by a metal­worker outside Boston.

Here’s the issue though—surely there’s some hypocrisy in boiling down a party that’s supposed to be the voice of Canada’s underprivileged into “a flashy brand?”

Toronto Life says there’s more to Singh’s glossy lifestyle than mere vanity, as “peacockery” is said to foster intimacy with voters. Is it though?

Singh has never hit the highs that Jack Layton’s “folksy” aesthetic gave off. Under his leadership, the NDP has not only failed to reverse the loss of seats that began under Mulcair in 2015, but polls also suggest that this isn’t likely to change soon. Singh is polling in the 10-20 range (close enough to his result of 16% in 2019). This is a far cry from the 31% percent Layton lassoed back in 2011.

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Updated: 3 June 2023
2 min to read

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