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What I saw from the podium

Posted on January 25, 2011

Posted by Michael Ignatieff on January 25, 2011

We had a great winter caucus. And I mean winter. It was minus-23 outside, and apart from tough folks from places like Whitehorse, Winnipeg, and Kenora, most of us felt cold. But inside the meetings, it was warm.

A hundred extraordinary candidates showed up – men and women who have run businesses, served as ministers in provincial and territorial governments, people who have succeeded in life and now want to serve. We had a lunchtime Q&A, and they put me through my paces on message and policy. They’ve been listening on the doorsteps, and they were full of suggestions on how to reach Canadians better.

Michael Marzolini gave us a briefing on polls. He’s a pollster, but he told us to ignore the polls and get our policies right, keeping our focus squarely targeted on the hopes and dreams of the ordinary Canadian family.

That family, by the way, is never ordinary. Good families come in lots of different shapes, sizes, and colours. Our job is to put solid ground under their feet: education for their kids, jobs, health care, family care, and retirement security. That was my message when we brought the media in for the big speech.

I wish you could have seen what I saw from the podium. A packed room, wall to wall, candidates, MPs, Senators, staffers, party workers, everybody on their feet, everybody believing in our values, most of all, everybody believing in themselves and in the people of Canada. A great moment. I am proud to lead this team.