'They don't like the choices,' Thomas Mulcair on electorate

The writ is set to drop tomorrow, parties havestarted rolling out their campaigns, and former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair says there's an air of ambivalence around the choices this year.

"I've rarely seen a campaign where more people have come up to me and said, 'what are we supposed to do with this?'" he said. "They don't like the choices. They don't feel that there's anything clear."

Mulcair said Justin Trudeau's unfulfilled promises in regards to election reform and climate change left a bad taste in many progressive's mouths, while Conservative Andrew Scheer's campaign has gone off the rails with recent statements on abortion and gay marriage.

"The date of this election was not a surprise for anybody, it's been set in stone for a long time," said Mulcair. "The fact that these various war rooms were not prepared for these very predictable facts is very surprising."

Mulcair was more optimistic than many about his former party that has not raised nearly as much money as other parties.

"Jack Layton never had a lot of money going into his campaigns and yet he managed to make the best of it," he said.

He said, however, that the extended spat between the Green Party and the NDP over 14 former provincial NDP candidates defecting to the Greens in New Brunswick did not help things for either party, and Mulcair felt they should have turned the page much sooner.

Mulcair praised Singh, on the other hand, for his advertisement played only in Quebec that showed Singh without his turban.

"I thought the ad was quite effective," said Mulcair. "He showed a spectacularly full head of hair and he showed himself putting on his turban, and he talked about being a fighter. He had to learn how to fight for his identity and making a connection emotionally with Quebecers. I think it worked."