In 2002, at the age of 29, I made the decision to run for the leadership of the New Democratic Party of Canada. I became the first Québécois in the NDP’s history to do so.
I will always be proud of the impact the leadership speech I gave at the Convention in January 2003 had on New Democrats and on the public. The magazine Policy Options published the speech in both official languages under the title Pragmatic Radicalism: A Vision of Hope on the Left.
For comments and reactions, several press clippings are available.
To see the leadership campaign website as it was at the time, although rather small, go here.
Of my many accomplishments following the leadership race, I am particularly proud to note the adoption of the Sherbrooke Declaration, which modernized the NDP position on Quebec.
When I ran for the leadership, the NDP was at 2% in Québec. Now, we have a solid majority of Québec MPs. Having been working with the NDP since 1990, I can proudly say I was 20 years ahead of my time, and that I contributed to launching and shaping a movement that transformed Canadian politics.