The NDP are off and running now. I am very pleased with the speed the party has taken to elect a new leader. The Leadership vote will be on March 24, 2012 here in Toronto. Its vital that the NDP have a new leader as soon as possible. It helps provide focus and will give Canadians a chance to get to know the new leader before the next election.
The entry fee should be enough to encourage serious candidates only, yet not outside the reach of those who could be serious challengers for the leadership. The cap on spending, $500,000 ought to ensure there will be no big debts left over at the end of all this.
I have not yet decided who I may support. I like many most of those people that have indicated they may run. Its going to be difficult, its going too be interesting. I also believe we will see a respectful leadership race. One that reflects the changes the NDP and Jack Layton told Canadians they wanted to bring to Ottawa.
The stakes are high. The winner will be one election away from becoming the Prime Minister of Canada. As a New Democrat, that has never happened before. There is so much on the line, yet I am confident that we as a party we choose well, fall in behind the new leader and focus on making Parliament work and winning the next election. That kind of determination and solidarity ought to scare the bee-jesus out of Harper and his Conservative colleagues.