The jokes about “champagne socialists” pretty much wrote themselves as the NDP launched their national campaign at the Chateau Laurier – not exactly the first place one would associate with the NDP and their folksy, kitchen-table constituency.
But there they were. The carefully stage-managed production had supporters and virtually all spectators assembled behind Layton, who was standing on a riser while framed by two teleprompters. All of this faced a media riser with a few cameras on it.
After Paul Dewar introduced him as the “next prime minister of Canada,” Layton's speech was his standard fare of late: he’s showing leadership by working well with others; he has “practical solutions;” he’ll get “concrete results;” he would work with other parties either on a case-by-case basis or in a formal coalition – take your pick; and “Ottawa is broken.”
There were mentions of seniors, home-heating, doctors and that evil Senate. Layton also asserted that the New Democrats are the only party that can unseat the Conservatives in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He later added the Maritimes to that list. And with one last rallying cry, it was off to the bus, then the plane and their first campaign stop in Edmonton.