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NDP leadership race roundup

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Welcome back to rabble.ca's weekly roundup of the NDP leadership race! As always, brought to you by babble, rabble.ca's online discussion forum. The cutoff for renewing or initiating NDP membership passed this weekend on February 18, so everyone with a vote is now onboard, for better or worse. March 24 here we come.

With incredibly no leaders debate this week (just the four so far? Wot?), NDP apparatchiks had to satisfy themselves with babblers' widely read interview with Nathan Cullen. Nathan demonstrated why his star continues to rise in the race, as his frank apprasial of rural issues and corporate ownership earned him babblers admiration; although not everyone was impressed with his response to the crisis in Libya. You can read an abridged version of that interview here.

Thomas Mulcair's avowed support for Israel continues to dominate the discussion as he emerges as a likely frontrunner as the membership deadline passes. Many pointed out that Mulcair does not appear to support Palestinian statehood and babbler Left Turn pointed to claims from Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (CPJME) that he is out of line with NDP policy.

Brian Topp picked up two notable endorsements this week -- the first somewhat timely given the pressure on Mulcair for his Middle Eastern policies. The Canadian Arab Foundation "proudly" endorsed Topp's leadership bid (thanks to Westcoast Granny for the tip). Topp's second endorsement (thanks mark_alfred) came from none other than Doris Layton, Jack's mother:

"I support Brian Topp because he is very much on Jack's wave length....Jack and Brian worked closely together through the years. They can almost finish each other sentences."

Other moments you may have missed from this past week: Peggy Nash has clarified her statement on Quebec and health care user fees made in response to a debate question from Paul Dewar, stating her "unequivocal" opposition (although some babblers question whether a clarification was needed, casting aspersions instead on Dewar's wedge-type question). Paul Dewar is starting to feel some heat for his perceived lack of french language ability in the new-look NDP caucus. Niki Ashton continues to impress babblers, particularly among those who were supporting Roméo Saganash before he withdrew, but many fear that lack of funds may also end her campaign prematurely.

So, that ends this week's roundup. As the anticipation for next week's roundup grips you, make sure you drop by babble for Brian Topp's live interactive interview with babblers on February 22, 11:30am PST / 2:30pm EST. And don't forget we will also be hosting Paul Dewar on February 27, 5pm PST/ 8pm EST and Peggy Nash on March 2, so be sure to submit your questions! Niki Ashton will also be joining us, so watch this space!

See you back here next week for your best source on the NDP Leadership race.

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