About 150 students and supporters crowded upper Place Riel Jan. 29 as the frontrunner for the Liberal leadership race Justin Trudeau made a campaign pitstop on campus.
Individuals horseshoed around Trudeau for roughly half an hour as he gave a passionate stump speech to rally support for himself and the federal Liberal Party. The party is still shaking off its poor performance in the 2011 election, where they won only one seat in Saskatchewan and a mere 34 countrywide. It was the worst election result for the Liberals in their history.
“For the past five years as a politician, I’ve been out across the country, at universities and colleges and high schools, to actually start a conversation about politics. To talk about the kinds of things that we need to pull together, the common ground we need to find, and the dialogue that has to be at the heart of every political engagement,” Trudeau told the assembly.
“We tend to feel like our representatives are really far away from us. That they don’t engage with us and don’t get involved. We need to close that gap.”
Martha Hall Findlay, one of Trudeau’s top competitors for the leadership position, was on campus the day prior greeting students in the tunnelHall Findlay is a successful entrepreneur, lawyer and MP from Toronto who also ran for the Liberal leadership in 2006 but fell short to Stéphane Dion.
To choose their next leader, the Liberals are trying something new. Rather than allowing only dues-paying party members to vote for one of the nine leadership hopefuls on April 14, the Liberals are urging all Canadians to sign up as “supporters” and cast a vote at no cost.
It’s the first time a Canadian political party has allowed non-members help choose their leader. You can sign up at liberal.ca/supporter.
Photos: Raisa Pezderic/The Sheaf &
Daryl Hofmann/The Sheaf