The case for Peggy Nash - Macleans.ca

The case for Peggy Nash

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The text of a note sent to supporters today by Nash campaign manager Riccardo Filippone. (I’ve only deleted the bit where Mr. Filippone asks for your money.)

Dear friends,

Did you hear John Ibbitson’s suggestion that the NDP must either “elect a leader with the best chance of entrenching the party’s recent political gains in Quebec and beyond or continue dreaming the social-democratic dream”?

Peggy’s answer to that? We can have both.

I have worked with Peggy since she was first elected to the House of Commons in 2006. Over this time, I’ve had the opportunity to gain insight into the impressive career that has led her to this point. At every turn, I see the realization of so many dreams she aspires to, on behalf of us all.

They said it was just a dream for a woman to rise to the highest executive levels of a national union. Peggy did it. They said it was just a dream for a woman to handle major auto sector negotiations in North America. Peggy did it.

They said it was just a dream for same-sex couples to share employment benefits and for workers to have employer-provided childcare. Peggy bargained those.

They said it was just a dream to turn a Liberal stronghold in Toronto’s west end orange at all three levels of government, then reclaim the federal seat from Gerard Kennedy. Peggy did it.

They said it was just a dream for the fourth party’s Industry Critic to take on the American military industrial complex and force the government to block the first foreign takeover in Canada’s history. In 2008, Peggy did that, too.

They told Jack to stop dreaming about Quebec because we couldn’t win there. Look at us now.

People who weave these stories have obviously learned nothing from history. Never underestimate the grassroots of a progressive movement. Never underestimate the wisdom and courage of a united NDP. And never, ever underestimate the tenacity of a woman who has spent a lifetime fighting, building, and leading for change.

Peggy knows the so-called social-democratic dream is possible. And you know as well as I do that she’s the leader who can get us there … Peggy has what it takes to turn our dream into a reality. We need every dollar of support to help her do it.