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NDP race gets amorous: 'I'm voting for Brian Topp because he's a great kisser'

Federal leadership candidate Brian Topp holds a town-hall meeting at the B.C. NDP convention in Vancouver on Dec. 10, 2011.

RICHARD LAM/Richard Lam/The Canadian Press

Brian Topp has warned the NDP against being boring. And now the leadership contender is taking a stab at remedying that through a series of celebrity YouTube endorsements.

The first was unveiled Thursday. "I am voting for Brian Topp because I love him," says comedian Peter Keleghan, who is probably best known as chisel-jawed, airheaded anchorman Jim Walcott in CBC's The Newsroom.

"That's too much? Yah, I know what you mean," he tells someone off camera. "No, no, I'm good, I'm good. Keep rolling."

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He tries again: "Hi there, I'm Peter Keleghan and I'm voting for Brian Topp because he's a great kisser."

An awkward moment ensues. "What? Still too much? Huh? No, that's it. That's all I got," he says as he leaves the set in mock frustration.

Mr. Topp said he and Mr. Kelleghan are great friends, having grown up together on the south shore of Montreal. "So he asked how he could help," Mr. Topp told The Globe in an email. "... You never know what's going to happen with Peter when he decides to bare his heart in front of a camera."

The leadership candidate's spokesman, meanwhile, promises there will be more.

"A number of people came together to do endorsement videos for Brian," Jim Rutkowski told The Globe. "All of them will be posted in coming days, but we thought people would appreciate the humour in this one. ... I think it just goes to having to keep a sense of humour in politics."

He noted that Mr. Keleghan did a more serious one, too. And actor Colin Mocherie has also done one.

Earlier this month, Mr. Topp – executive director of ACTRA Toronto – warned that if New Democrats "are going to win, we can't be boring." He was calling on his fellow leadership candidates to find some good issues on which to debate.

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It's not clear how many actually heeded his words. The NDP contenders gathered in Toronto Wednesday night to hash out the role of big cities in Canada. The debate was well-attended but the candidates all seem to – as B.C. MP Nathan Cullen has said – "violently agree" on most issues.

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About the Author
Ontario politics reporter

Jane Taber is a reporter at Queen’s Park. After spending three years reporting from the Atlantic, she has returned to Ontario and back to writing about her passion, politics. She spent 25 years covering Parliament Hill for the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. More

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