The Speeches at Liberal Leadership Showcase of 2013

What the contenders had to say
Rahman Mohamed

April 6, 2013
Before national voting for the Liberal leader began at midnight and polls opened for those in Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the leaders left in the running gave their final speeches.

Although the media reported the showcase was said to be undersold, latecomers were standing behind the chairs looking for a place to sit.
Before the leadership candidates made their final speeches, outgoing leader Bob Rae made his.  He spoke about unity – saying the Liberal party has to be united when facing the Conservatives.
First up: Deborah Coyne.
After being introduced by Brian, a supporter who travelled from Vancouver Island, she thanked Bob Rae then went into depth about her “One Canada” plan, a plan where services that all Canadians receive are equal.  Each part of the plan received applause.
She ended her speech with Liberal unity.
She received a standing ovation.
Next up: Karen McCrimmon.
Making a pragmatic down to earth speech, she related it to her military history.  She was also the first to say that she was tough, tough enough to withstand Conservative attack ads.  At one point, while relating her goals and policies to her experience, she said she was a leader saying “the team matters” and that as a military leader she can lead the Liberal party to unity and victory.  She walked off the stage to a standing ovation.
After playing a video that showed the change and the environment, Joyce Murray stepped on the stage.  In the first-half of her speech she talked about change.  She said that she was running to change the politics of Canada.  After that she spoke about cooperation, saying it’s needed for the Liberals to get elected.  She also said that she wasn’t scared of Conservative attacks.  In her opening video she said “big things come from one little seed”.  Then she ended her speech by saying “Change is in your hands”.  She received applause, but not an ovation.
Trudeau.  His entry didn’t just begin with a standing ovation as he walked onto stage, the applause continued into the beginning of his speech.  At every pause during his speech his team was using their bam-bams and cow bells to support a pure election campaign speech.
After saying that he was “a servant of Canada”, talking about reaching out to Canadians, and talking about the principles and ideal of the Liberal Party, he said “I want to be your leader because I want to work with you” later adding « Canadiens ne simplement un gouvernement différente ils veulent un gouvernement meilleur » (Canadians don’t just want a different government, they want a better government).  A while after he said Harper and Harper’s government weren’t bad, just “unambitious” he said that “45-years-ago tonight … Canadians made my father leader of the Liberal Party”.  Throughout his speech he spoke about helping Canada progress using the legacy it has to the ringing of cowbells, non-stop applause and the sound of bam-bams before walking off-stage to a standing ovation.
Whether Martha Hall Findlay knew about Trudeau’s entrance or not, she came through the crowd with people screaming “Martha!” and supporters blowing their horns.  After stepping onto the stage and waving her hands, asking her supporters to calm down, she said “Thank You” repeatedly and introduced herself.  She then said “I will be your underdog this afternoon but as my friend just pointed out, the Liberal party actually elected the underdog” to the sound of cheers and horns.
Rather speaking about personal policies in a straightforward manner, she began by speaking about the Canadian identity.  She then spoke about rebuilding the Liberal party and its identity and reaching out to the diverse issues facing Canadians and creating policies and messages to help Canadians from coast to coast during an election campaign to “see the Liberal party as the only party” that will meet their needs.  She did receive applause, but only a scattered ovation.
The final speaker: Martin Cauchon.  With a video that had diversity and said that he was a visionary he began his final vision to the Liberals.
Après il a dit merci à Bob Rae en français (After saying thanks to Bob Rae in French), he spoke of equal opportunity in Canada – providing all Canadians with an equal chance, having their qualifications recognized across the land.  He also said that he’d listen to Canadians, reminding Liberals of his weekly “Have your say” site, and said that he wasn’t scared of attack ads.
As he walked off stage after speaking in English and French, he received a standing ovation.
Seats started to empty after Trudeau spoke; after Findlay spots were seen; many Liberals stayed behind as advanced polls opened.
Online and telephone Polls are opened nationally at midnight.  The winner of the race will be announced in a week’s time on April 14, 2013.
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