Home News The NDP leadership race is coming to Concordia

The NDP leadership race is coming to Concordia

by The Concordian January 24, 2012 1 comment
The NDP leadership race is coming to Concordia

Peggy Nash is one of six candidates confirmed to attend.

The “orange wave” is making a pit stop at Concordia as the New Democratic Party will be holding a leadership debate at Loyola this week.

Organized by Concordia NDP as well as the NDP branches of Pierrefonds-Dollard, Lac-St-Louis, NDG-Lachine and Saint-Laurent-Cartierville, the event is taking place at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

Candidates who have confirmed their attendance are Niki Ashton, Nathan Cullen, Peggy Nash, Romeo Saganash, Martin Singh, and Brian Topp. After the debate there will be time to ask questions and interact with the candidates who are all vying to fill the gap left in the party following the death of former NDP leader Jack Layton last August.

This same week will see Bob Rae at Concordia. The Political Science Students’ Association and Liberal Concordia have invited the interim Liberal Party of Canada leader to speak at the university on Friday, Jan.27.

The Concordian caught up with NDP candidates Nathan Cullen and Peggy Nash for a sneak preview of what to expect in Wednesday’s debate.

Nathan Cullen was first elected in 2004 in the riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley in B.C, and has since been re-elected three times. He serves as chair of the House of Commons’ standing committee on privacy, access to information and ethics.

Q. What made you decide to run for the leadership?

A. It was a reflection of what kind of work I was doing in politics, I wanted to do something more generous. We do things a little differently in the community I represent, less partisan, more positive.

Q. What is one of the most important issues in this campaign for you?

A. People need to have their faith restored in voting. We have to give people back a reason to vote. The system is only legitimate if people contribute. They validate our work as politicians.

Q. Do you think it’s important that students get involved?

A. Today’s students are the most engaged and connected generation in the history of the planet. We have to be better as politicians. Young folks’ dreams for a cleaner environment and a better world, politics are a tool for that.

Q. What sets you apart from other candidates?

A. I think politicians need to learn to cooperate with each other more. I have some pretty revolutionary proposals in my platform. Parties sometimes get in the way. They are means to an end, not the end itself.

Q. Why should someone vote for you?

A. My fantastic Hollywood looks and charm. Honestly, I’m different. I believe in manifest change, not just platitude.

Peggy Nash is the MP for Parkdale–High Park in Ontario. A former unions activist and labour official for the Canadian Auto Workers union, Nash served as the Official Opposition’s finance critic in Jack Layton’s Shadow Cabinet.

Q. What made you decide to run for the leadership?

A. I believe strongly in Jack Layton’s vision in uniting progressives across Canada. I want to build our party so that we can continue Jack Layton’s work and win the next federal election.

Q. What is one of the most important issues in this campaign for you?

A. Canada has lost hundreds of jobs, we’re seeing an increasing number of raw materials being shipped out, and we’re turning our back on our environmental promises. We need to start investing in green technology and sustainability.

Q. Do you think it’s important that students get involved?

A. Absolutely, they are the future. I met some really interesting ones through the Occupy movement; people who care about environment, education, and who are worried about having a bleaker life than their parents had. I want to connect people with this passion, through politics.

Q. You have a French language degree, how important is bilingualism for you?

A. It’s a serious priority. I’ve worked very hard to maintain my fluency all my life. We have an opportunity to build our social democratic movement and this means respect for French language and culture.

Q. Why should someone vote for you?

A. I have the economic experience, a proven track record and the ability to bring people together. I know what it takes to build our party; someone who is tenacious and is a strong leader.

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