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NDP Leadership 2012

Thomas Mulcair won Saturday’s leadership contest for the New Democratic Party. Two northern MPs also competed for the NDP’s top spot this weekend: Churchill’s Niki Ashton–the youngest candidate in the race–and Skeena-Bulkely Valley’s Nathan Cullen. Another northern MP, Romeo Saganash, who represents Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou for the NDP, dropped out of the race on March 7 to endorse Mulcair.
 
Seven candidates remained in the race up to convention weekend. Ashton finished the six-month contest with 5.7% in the first round of voting, before dropping off the ballot. Cullen finished with 24.6% on the third ballot, before also being dropped. Neither candidate endorsed a remaining contender. On the final ballot, Thomas Mulcair won with 57.2% of the vote.
 
Both Ashton and Cullen prominently featured northern issues in their campaigns. Last December, Cullen released an Arctic Policy that promised to focus on northern “people, their communities and society…building sustainable communities and empowering them to be full partners in their economic, environmental and social future.” Ashton argued for increased attention to rural and northern communities, pledging that the NDP could be a new voice for the region.

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