A letter of thanks

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Brian Topp Brian Topp's picture
A letter of thanks

Dear friends,

I have said it on Twitter and on Facebook, and now I'd like to say it in a letter to you:

Thank you so much for your friendship and support during the 2012 leadership contest, just concluded.

When it's over, it's over. And like all New Democrats all across Canada, there must be only one thing on all of our minds from now on -- unity behind our new leader, Tom Mulcair; strength; and an absolute focus on the task at hand, which is to offer Canadians a better government.

Still and all, perhaps I'll offer a few parting thoughts on what we've all just been through.

National campaigns are always intense experiences -- but they usually last for seven weeks or so. And then we go whew! that was quite a ride. This seven month marathon was of an entirely different magnitude. And so, it was a unique opportunity to see our country, to get to know our party in its deepest grass roots, to get to know my colleagues in the race, and to renew and make friendships I will treasure for the rest of my life.

This really is a remarkable country. It's an ocean of land. It is an archipelago of communities. And it is something more -- a country of citizens who share some powerful communitarian values and principles that our current government does not understand. Canadians are looking for something better. That's going to be us.

Our party is remarkably strong -- Jack Layton's gift to Canada. It is bursting with young people; crackling with ideas; it is asking good questions; it is smiling, optimistic, and serious about its role. I will always be grateful to the many hundreds of members who came to talk to me during this campaign I was honoured to have my time with you.

Martin Singh with his passionate commitment to national pharmacare; Robert Chisholm with his deep experience as a successful provincial leader; Romeo Saganash, one of Canada's most accomplished First Nations leaders, with much to teach us; Niki Ashton with her remarkable polylingual prairie determination to renew politics; Paul Dewar with his passionate decency, engaging family and impressive grassroots campaign; Peggy Nash, my fantastic MP here in Parkdale High Park, the rassembleuse; Nathan Cullen, who reminded so many of Jack, challenging us to think new about what it's going to take to unseat Mr. Harper; and Tom Mulcair, my colleague on the last ballot, now my leader, who lived up to his reputation as a truly formidable opponent -- not a bad thing to put up against this Conservative government. All of my colleagues in this race were members of the "Layton generation" -- and collectively, they have proved that we have the leadership under Tom Mulcair and the team to not only challenge Mr. Harper but to replace him. I was very lucky to have been allowed to stand with them on those stages.

Finally, I hope you won't mind if I take a moment to thank the many people who helped me in this campaign.
I was blessed to have the support and endorsement of some of the most impressive and accomplished Parliamentarians, past and present, federal and provincial, in our party. I will find my way to each of you in coming weeks to thank you personally. I was deeply honoured and moved by your support. I hope you won't mind if I say what a particular thrill and honour it was to see Shirley Douglas stand up to nominate me and to remind us all, once again, why we are here -- and why we will never give up.

My campaign manager Raymond Guardia is the architect of our electoral victory in Quebec, a goal he has worked towards all his adult life, so much of which he has devoted, passionately, to our party and our cause. He headed an extraordinary team of organizers, writers, web-warriors, phone bankers, videographers, and many many others who gave their hearts and souls to my campaign through grinding hours. To all of those who helped me in so many ways: I will always be grateful to you. I will always treasure your help. And what a treasure it is to have such friends, now and for the rest of our lives.

My brothers and sisters at the United Steelworkers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union led a fine labour team. I was just about as proud to stand with you in this campaign, as I will be in the many campaigns we in the labour movement will work together on in the years ahead. A special thank you to Leo Gerard, Ken Neumann, and Dave Coles for your help and support -- and to all my labour colleagues in many unions across Canada who stood with me. Now we stand together with our party and our leader, Tom Mulcair.

I am blessed to have a remarkable partner, Rebecca Elbourne, and two remarkable sons, Simon and Alex who, fortunately, take after their mom. They were pretty hoarse after convention (twelve hours or so of chanting slogans will do that to you), just a little taste of the support my family gave me on this journey. Paul Dewar's partner told the media after convention, "we have each other, we're ok". That's exactly how I feel about things, and am so lucky that is so.

So this campaign is over and the next begins -- our campaign to replace this Conservative government with a better one.

To work, friends.

All my very best,

Brian Topp

 

1springgarden

Hey Brian: No, thank YOU for giving of yourself to advance the NDP.  We had a great discussion and I think many members are clearer on why we're pushing forwards.  Hope to work with you somehow in campaigns in the future.

Caissa

A class act.

Island Red

Brian should have run in the Danforth byelection, thereby neutralizing two of the greatest knocks against him - not being in the House of Commons from Day One and not having a record of personal electoral success. Of course, this may look more obvious now than it did back in September. He was a compelling candidate for leader and should try to get himself elected as soon as possible.

Unionist

Beautiful letter, Brian, and thanks for honouring babble / rabble by posting it here. Your obvious commitment to unity in our greater cause is very moving.

Mr.Tea

Classy.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

We're touched you took the time to post this lovely letter, Brian. Thank you for always taking the time to engage and interact with babble. It won't be forgotten.

janfromthebruce

ah geez, just when I was feeling better - now much better but teary - so very classy & it was an honour for this NDPEER to support you - always felt appreciated & felt a part of a strong social network of NDPers. Thanks,

Stockholm

What a beautiful letter...let's keep in mind that the other "Brian from Quebec who was a backroom organizer who had never run for public office" ran for the PC leadership in 1976 and lost - but then came back to win in 1983 and then became PM for 9 years.

I trust we have not heard the last from Brian Topp!

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Thank-you Brian. That is very gracious on your part, but thank-you for your devotion and dedication to our collective cause. I look forward to your candidacy and election to the House!

Very best regards Sir!

Sean in Ottawa

Very impressive letter. I thank you as well for your commitment and dedication, the very difficult process of running publicly and for your efforts at reconciliation.

I certainly hope that you remain in a senior position with the party somewhere and that you do run and become an MP.

West Coast Greeny

I'm not an NDP member, and I levied a few criticisms to you guys, but it was interesting to watch each candidate demostrate their different strengths through the campaign. I was legitimately impressed. If the ten of you and rest of the NDP caucus can gel, you'll be seen by Canadians as the government in waiting. Unlike the Liberals. Dear God, the Liberals. 

 

Brachina

Brian Topp wrote:

Dear friends,

I have said it on Twitter and on Facebook, and now I'd like to say it in a letter to you:

Thank you so much for your friendship and support during the 2012 leadership contest, just concluded.

When it's over, it's over. And like all New Democrats all across Canada, there must be only one thing on all of our minds from now on -- unity behind our new leader, Tom Mulcair; strength; and an absolute focus on the task at hand, which is to offer Canadians a better government.

Still and all, perhaps I'll offer a few parting thoughts on what we've all just been through.

National campaigns are always intense experiences -- but they usually last for seven weeks or so. And then we go whew! that was quite a ride. This seven month marathon was of an entirely different magnitude. And so, it was a unique opportunity to see our country, to get to know our party in its deepest grass roots, to get to know my colleagues in the race, and to renew and make friendships I will treasure for the rest of my life.

This really is a remarkable country. It's an ocean of land. It is an archipelago of communities. And it is something more -- a country of citizens who share some powerful communitarian values and principles that our current government does not understand. Canadians are looking for something better. That's going to be us.

Our party is remarkably strong -- Jack Layton's gift to Canada. It is bursting with young people; crackling with ideas; it is asking good questions; it is smiling, optimistic, and serious about its role. I will always be grateful to the many hundreds of members who came to talk to me during this campaign I was honoured to have my time with you.

Martin Singh with his passionate commitment to national pharmacare; Robert Chisholm with his deep experience as a successful provincial leader; Romeo Saganash, one of Canada's most accomplished First Nations leaders, with much to teach us; Niki Ashton with her remarkable polylingual prairie determination to renew politics; Paul Dewar with his passionate decency, engaging family and impressive grassroots campaign; Peggy Nash, my fantastic MP here in Parkdale High Park, the rassembleuse; Nathan Cullen, who reminded so many of Jack, challenging us to think new about what it's going to take to unseat Mr. Harper; and Tom Mulcair, my colleague on the last ballot, now my leader, who lived up to his reputation as a truly formidable opponent -- not a bad thing to put up against this Conservative government. All of my colleagues in this race were members of the "Layton generation" -- and collectively, they have proved that we have the leadership under Tom Mulcair and the team to not only challenge Mr. Harper but to replace him. I was very lucky to have been allowed to stand with them on those stages.

Finally, I hope you won't mind if I take a moment to thank the many people who helped me in this campaign.
I was blessed to have the support and endorsement of some of the most impressive and accomplished Parliamentarians, past and present, federal and provincial, in our party. I will find my way to each of you in coming weeks to thank you personally. I was deeply honoured and moved by your support. I hope you won't mind if I say what a particular thrill and honour it was to see Shirley Douglas stand up to nominate me and to remind us all, once again, why we are here -- and why we will never give up.

My campaign manager Raymond Guardia is the architect of our electoral victory in Quebec, a goal he has worked towards all his adult life, so much of which he has devoted, passionately, to our party and our cause. He headed an extraordinary team of organizers, writers, web-warriors, phone bankers, videographers, and many many others who gave their hearts and souls to my campaign through grinding hours. To all of those who helped me in so many ways: I will always be grateful to you. I will always treasure your help. And what a treasure it is to have such friends, now and for the rest of our lives.

My brothers and sisters at the United Steelworkers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union led a fine labour team. I was just about as proud to stand with you in this campaign, as I will be in the many campaigns we in the labour movement will work together on in the years ahead. A special thank you to Leo Gerard, Ken Neumann, and Dave Coles for your help and support -- and to all my labour colleagues in many unions across Canada who stood with me. Now we stand together with our party and our leader, Tom Mulcair.

I am blessed to have a remarkable partner, Rebecca Elbourne, and two remarkable sons, Simon and Alex who, fortunately, take after their mom. They were pretty hoarse after convention (twelve hours or so of chanting slogans will do that to you), just a little taste of the support my family gave me on this journey. Paul Dewar's partner told the media after convention, "we have each other, we're ok". That's exactly how I feel about things, and am so lucky that is so.

So this campaign is over and the next begins -- our campaign to replace this Conservative government with a better one.

To work, friends.

All my very best,

Brian Topp

 

Well said Brian!

Jacob Two-Two

Thanks Brian. It's good of you to come here and share that with us. I have to say you grew phenomenally as a frontline politician during the race. I certainly hope your future plans include spending some time in BC to help us throw the bums out of office.

Michelle

Very nice letter, Brian - thanks for coming back and posting it here.  I've always thought it great that you take the time out to chat with us here occasionally!  Don't be a stranger. :)

oldgoat

Dear Brian

 

You're welcome.

4 votes next to your picture dude, after the appalling food at the convention you owe me a nice lunch.  Had a good time at your hospitality suite though.

Anyway, seriously, it was a privlige to be able to participate in person.  Thanks for running.

takeitslowly

thank you! what a great letter!

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I loved the letter when I read it in my inbox yesterday and I'm glad you posted it here. You are a gifted, compassionate writer. You captured the best each candidate had on offer in one sentence for each. Like others have said, you are a class act. Thanks for your hard work and efforts in this leadership campaign.

MegB

I got the same letter from Mr. Topp.  I thought it a good gesture, and haven't received any such thing from the other candidates -- winner or not.

Howard

+1 to everything said above

NorthReport

Thanks very much Brian for your superb contributions to the NDP and to rabble. You letter is touching and very much appreciated. Have been missing your column in the Globe and sincerely hope you can resume that in the near future, amonst many of the other ways in which you support the NDP. Bonne chance.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It is a great letter.

If Brian is reading this, I'd ask him to ponder the question, though, of whether or not he may have cost himself the chance to win as the "anybody-but-Mulcair" candidate with his long record of contempt towards the notion that social movements have a real role to play in politics in general and in the NDP in particular.

The people IN those movements that chose to ally themselves with the NDP were always going to be the base of any successful non-Mulcair candidacy  It's likely that movement types were a disproportionately large number of the non-voters in the NDP contest this year.

He might consider rethinking his views on social movements and their role if he were to consider a future campaign for the party leadership.   Those movements represent the kinds of people he would have to draw support from in the future, and, given the changing dynamics of Canaidan politics, I don't think anyone can asume that most voters are actively hostile to social activists in the way Topp seems to think they are.  It's a time when scales are falling from the nation's eyes.

flight from kamakura

hi brian, didn't think you were the best guy to lead the ndp at this juncture, but i really hope to see you in parliament out of montreal, either in the ndg or jeanne-le ber seats, both of which i think would be perfect fits.

thanks for a good race.

Very Far Away

What a great "thank you letter". Thank you very much, Brian Topp. 

Stockholm

flight from kamakura wrote:

hi brian, didn't think you were the best guy to lead the ndp at this juncture, but i really hope to see you in parliament out of montreal, either in the ndg or jeanne-le ber seats, both of which i think would be perfect fits.

thanks for a good race.

Or he could follow in the footsteps of his mother-in-law and his wife and run for the NDP in Westmount-Ville Marie!

Brachina

Ken Burch wrote:

It is a great letter.

If Brian is reading this, I'd ask him to ponder the question, though, of whether or not he may have cost himself the chance to win as the "anybody-but-Mulcair" candidate with his long record of contempt towards the notion that social movements have a real role to play in politics in general and in the NDP in particular.

The people IN those movements that chose to ally themselves with the NDP were always going to be the base of any successful non-Mulcair candidacy  It's likely that movement types were a disproportionately large number of the non-voters in the NDP contest this year.

He might consider rethinking his views on social movements and their role if he were to consider a future campaign for the party leadership.   Those movements represent the kinds of people he would have to draw support from in the future, and, given the changing dynamics of Canaidan politics, I don't think anyone can asume that most voters are actively hostile to social activists in the way Topp seems to think they are.  It's a time when scales are falling from the nation's eyes.

The man just lost a contest he worked his ass off for, no need to put salt in the wound, this is not the best time for this sort of question.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Not trying to put salt in a wound.  The intent is to offer feedback on something that didn't work, in the hope that he might learn from it and use the knowledge gained in the future.

And I tried to be polite about it...it's not as if my tone was "Hey Topp, you Suck!"

Apologies to Brian if he read it and took it that way.  The intent was to offer help through respectful critique.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Thanks Brian, and let me echo, don't be a stranger. ;)

We're watching TM4PM carefully.

Vansterdam Kid

Howard wrote:

+1 to everything said above

+2

janfromthebruce

And yes please don't be a stranger + 3

KenS

Hey Brian.

I played a crucial role in delivering all the votes of my family, by saying almost nothing at home.

flight from kamakura

♫ ♪ if you don't cry, it isn't love ♫ ♪

♫ ♪ if you don't cry, then you just don't feel it deep enough ♫ ♪

janfromthebruce

ha ha ha Ken - Brian goo all my family votes too and I said lots!

Rabble_Incognito

Thank you for taking the time to write to us, Mr. Topp!

Wilf Day

Excellent letter. Thank you for everything you have done, and for coming here to chat with us again.

Where you will run in Quebec will depend on the new boundaries. Some have suggested you run in Montreal. In my view, Montreal will still have 18 MPs, although it has 18.62 quotients, because of the inevitable slight over-representation of Saguenay--Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec, and perhaps other regions. Therefore, I expect 16 of the present ridings, which are within 10% of quotient, will not change. I expect 8,000 people will shift from Jeanne-Le Ber to LaSalle - Émard, and 8,500 people will shift from Saint-Laurent - Cartierville to Ahuntsic. No help there. Of course someone may not run again.

Montérégie, with the growing city of Longueuil (your home region), is more promising. It should have 14 MPs. To day it has more or less 13, but only 11 are entirely in the region, and on 2006 census figures Shefford was 93% in Montérégie, Brome-Missisqoui was 63% in Montérégie, and Bas-Richelieu-Nicolet-Bécancour was 54% in Montérégie. Four of those 11 are more than 10% above quotient. Today the NDP has 13 MPs based in Montérégie. Even if they all run again, there will be at least one open seat there.

Then again, no one I know wants you to have to wait until 2015. So we will have to wait and see.

dacckon dacckon's picture

Best of luck to you in future endeavors!

Thanks for highlighting that we need a fairer tax system!

CanadaApple

If you're reading this Mr.Topp, I want you to know that I thought you had alot of good ideas during the race.

theleftyinvestor

Brian, I didn't support you, but I believe you are a man of good ideas.

I hope you will consider putting your considerable talents towards helping out Adrian Dix one more time next year here in BC. If that seat you're hoping for in Quebec doesn't open up any time soon, I'm sure we could keep you busy out here. :)