Endorsement: Peggy Nash.
The McGill Daily: Why are you endorsing Peggy Nash?
Laurin Liu: I think Nash is a great candidate because she is from the labour movement, and as Deputy Critic for the Environment I think that it is really important to have a leader that understands what it means to have a just transition, a just energy transition. So basically ensuring that moving towards the green economy won’t disadvantage workers who are currently working in energy sectors such as the oil sands, and so when we talk about energy policy in Canada we have to talk about partnerships between the environmental community and labour unions. I think [Nash] is someone who is really able to bring people together and someone who is really able to play a role as a negotiator and as a leader in that style.
MD: What are your thoughts on the language that has been traded amongst the candidates?
LL: Leaders have had to show their teeth in order to show that they can take on [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper in the House of Commons.
MD: Do you think that the better-known candidates have overshadowed the smaller ones in this large race?
LL: I think it has allowed for new ideas to be aired and I think that Nathan Cullen – most people didn’t know who Nathan Cullen was before the leadership race – but now he is known among members across the country.
MD: What does the next leader need to do in order to get the NDP in power?
LL: We have come a long way since the previous election May 2. I think it is really important to continue down the road [former leader] Jack Layton started in terms of modernizing the party, modernizing our communications material, and obviously the new leader has to do a lot of ground work. People appreciate seeing leaders and politicians in their own community, so that’s very important. Canadians, Quebecers especially, really bought into the vision of Canada that we proposed in the last elections, and I think that in the next elections the fight will really be between the New Democrat candidates and Conservative candidates, so the fight will be to take on Harper. So, that is what we will be doing in the House of Commons for the next few years.