'Let the other parties have their cynics'

A note sent to NDP members yesterday by Brian Topp, in response to Lise St-Denis’ move to the Liberals.

Fellow New Democrats,

Last May, four and a half million of us marked our ballots for Jack Layton’s New Democrats. We voted for real change.  And while we fell short of government, many of us felt that just maybe, a new dawn was breaking.

Jack Layton showed us that a new type of politics is possible. Not the same old scandals, entitlements and tired debates, but an optimistic politics with the concerns of everyday people at its core.

It was a tremendous moment we shared together. And it turns out not one we can take for granted.

The cynics argue that with Jack Layton’s passing, it’s time to return to the tired old politics of the past. The moment we shared was a temporary spark. The change on the horizon a fleeting dream.

We heard that argument just yesterday from a floor crossing Member of Parliament. When asked what about the plurality of voters in your riding who voted for real change, she simply shrugged: “They voted for Jack Layton. Jack Layton is dead.”

The cynics have the right to believe what they want. And they’re probably better off in the Liberal Party.

But it’s not what I believe. And I know you don’t either.

No one can replace Jack.  But I believe that Jack Layton left Canada a lasting legacy that is worth fighting for – every single day.

I believe by working together, not against each other, a better Canada is possible.

I believe that a hopeful, optimistic politics is not just a flash in the pan. It is the only way we can unite this country and start to move Canada forward.

Jack Layton knew that bringing change was never easy.  But like Jack Layton, I believe we can’t stop until the job’s done.

And so whether you live in my home province of Quebec – where I will run for Parliament – or in one of our many great communities across Canada, I’m writing you to simply say this:

Don’t listen to the cynics. Together, let’s get the job done.

You and I know we can put the priorities of people first. Better healthcare. Pensions you can count on. A clean environment and a country that’s a leader in the world.

We can ensure everyone does their fair share and no one is left behind.

We can build a strong, united Canada – one where we tackle our challenges together.

Jack Layton showed us the way. And he left us an incredible team that’s ready to get the job done. I look at our team and I know that the change this country needs is possible. I see in each of their eyes the same dream for a stronger, greener, fairer Canada. That’s why I’m running to be leader of Canada’s New Democrats.

And that’s why I want you on board. Let the other parties have their cynics. Let’s you and I bring real change to this country – starting now.

Brian Topp

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