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Leadership hopefuls flood NDP mailboxes with flashy pamphlets

Paul Dewar is embraced by his wife Julia Sneyd as son Nathaniel looks on at the launch of the Ottawa MP's bid for the NDP leadership on Oct. 2, 2011.

Adrian Wyld/Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

The nearly 130,000 New Democrats who will choose their next party leader are finding a few additional bits of mail in their boxes this week.

Timed to coincide with the arrival of voting packages, candidates are sending out stacks of brochures and other campaign material in an attempt to woo the support of those casting ballots.

Paul Dewar is distributing a four-page pamphlet to New Democrats across the country. It is, in many ways, a demonstration of his fundraising. Not all candidates can afford to do a mass mail-out.

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The Ottawa MP's main handicap is his relative weakness in French, the first language of many members of the NDP caucus. His brochure is pointedly bilingual and includes endorsements from Quebec New Democrat MPS.

Mr. Dewar's message is aimed at voters who want to see the party grow.

"In my first 100 days as leader, I will put together a team that will build our NDP from the grassroots up, in neighbourhoods like yours," he writes. "I'll hire new community organizers, create a unit dedicated to re-electing our Quebec MPs, and target resources in the next 70 ridings we need to defeat Stephen Harper."

Brian Topp will also be sending a brochure to New Democrats across the country. His will include a letter from party stalwart and former leader, Ed Broadbent, who will urge party members to line up behind the former party president.

And Nathan Cullen is sending out postcards, but only in British Columbia, reminding New Democrats there that he is the lone candidate from their province.

Support in British Columbia, which is home to 38,735 voting members of the party – nearly one in four of those who will take part in the election that wraps up March 24 – will be critical to victory.

Mr. Cullen's brochure explains that he has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with British Columbians working on issues that matter to their province. And specifically, he says, he has worked to stop Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. "It's wrong for B.C.," he said. "It's also wrong for Canada, because Stephen Harper withdrew from Kyoto to build it."

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Gloria Galloway has been a journalist for almost 30 years. She worked at the Windsor Star, the Hamilton Spectator, the National Post, the Canadian Press and a number of small newspapers before being hired by The Globe and Mail as deputy national editor in 2001. Gloria returned to reporting two years later and joined the Ottawa bureau in 2004. More

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