The Race to Defeat Stephen Harper

Brian Topp, leading NDP leadership candidate.

There’s a race on to defeat an unpopular elected official, though some (I) would call the man a place-holder. Stephen Harper has three years left in office, and if he’s anything like his Liberal and Conservative predecessors, he’ll likely jump ship before his term is up, leaving an appointed replacement to take it in the shins in 2015. If Harper is the Mulroney clone I suspect him to be, I can only hope Peter MacKay manages to at least keep his riding in the 2015 federal election, unlike so many other former party leaders fed to the dogs before him. Unless there is a major international cataclysm on par with the Second World War between now and 2015, Canada will shed the veil of apparently populist neo-Conservatism and return to our progressive, social-democratic roots. And thus the fight in 2015 will be between the NDP and the Liberals, two seasoned pugilists.

The Grits and Dippers toe to toe in 2015 – I hope I have ringside seats. Doubtless the Tories will try to re-brand themselves as the Grits are, but they will be unable to counter the momentum of nine year’s worth of widespread ideological opposition and pent-up scandal. By then the race may be to see who can read off the laundry list of Tory sins the fastest!

And so, it looks like the race in 2015 will be defined by policy, platform and the strength of individual conviction. While some believe this should be the time the NDP moves off towards the centre, Brian Topp does not. In fact, and quite unlike some other ‘leading’ candidates, he believes firmly that the NDP and its members don’t have to change who they are in order to win a federal election. Canada was built on progressive values, and Brian Topp is convinced adhering to these values is all we need to succeed.

Full disclosure: I’m volunteering for the Topp campaign. I honestly think he is the best possible candidate for the job – not so merely the job of leading the party, but of leading the nation as well. Topp is the best candidate in the field for numerous reasons, least of all his fluent bilingualism and the support of party luminaries from Ed Broadbent to Libby Davies and Roy Romanow. It’s that he’s worked tirelessly across Canada, helping NDP MPs get elected in three provinces and further being elected President of the party. He was also Jack’s choice and right hand, helping to draft the party platforms in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

I could go on, but why me when someone else has done a more exemplary job (plus I’m tired). A friend of mine going all the way back to elementary school, Mr. Shawn Katz, has written this excellent op-ed in support of Brian which neatly summarizes why you choose him to be the leader of the NDP and this country. Take a look at his website, Take Canada Back incase I haven’t convinced you yet.

Now is the time for decisive action – no more sitting on the fence. If you are a progressive or have progressive tendencies, now is the time to make your voice heard. Register to become a member today at NDP.ca and when your paper, preferential ballot arrives in the mail sometime in February, be sure to put your support behind Brian Topp. And if you’re feeling generous, be sure to make a donation at Brian Topp’s official website.

Canada’s counting on you.

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