I am writing to let you know that I will not pursue the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. This was a difficult decision because Canadians want to transform the way our democracy works and the leadership race presents an opportunity for us to take three crucial steps toward that transformation.
The Liberal Party is taking a first step by enabling all Canadians to sign up online and vote for the new leader. The second step is to replace the name-calling, vote-splitting and partisan games with a new politics of respect, cooperation and engagement. So far, the Liberal leadership race reflects this new politics.
The third and biggest step will be for Canadians from all walks of life to change the way our democracy works before the next general election in 2015 by getting involved. To engage Canadians again, the Liberal Party will need to transcend partisan politics, return power to riding associations, and build a broad, cooperative movement riding by riding.
Over the last six months, I have worked to develop a leadership campaign built on these ideas, including cross-party cooperation and democratic reform. To those who are not yet involved in the democratic life of our country, I say: “Go to www.liberal.ca, become a Liberal supporter, help choose the next leader of the Liberal Party, and shape the future of Canada.”
To the thousands of committed Canadians who are opening their homes and sharing their hopes in this leadership race, I say thank you for your generosity and dedication to Canada. The past six months have been inspiring and I will treasure the memories for the rest of my life.
Lastly, I say thank you to my family, friends, volunteers, and donors who worked so hard to make a campaign possible. Our work is not yet done and let's continue to work together -- through politics, community work, and in other ways -- to advance the ideals we share.