Thomas Mulcair cheers after learning he leads after the first ballot at the NDP leadership convention in Toronto, March 24, 2012.
Credits: SUN NEWS NETWORK
Each candidate had 20 minutes to make their final pitch to more than 4,600 party members attending the largest leadership convention in NDP history.
On Saturday, the party will name its next boss set to become Opposition leader in the House of Commons.
Front-runner and Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair made an entrance with a marching band on Friday in an attempt to make his mark. But Mulcair had to speed through his speech due to his drawn-out introduction to adhere to the strict timeline carved out by the party. During his speech, he said the Tories have attacked fundamental Charter rights.
Toronto MP Peggy Nash's segment emphasized her background as the party's former finance critic and a labour negotiator.
"Never ever underestimate the tenacity of a woman leader," she said.
But Nash's showcase was also rushed and music started playing to force the MP off the stage. When she failed to stop talking, Nash's microphone was cutoff.
Former party president Brian Topp reminded NDP voters the party should remain faithful to its roots. Topp, who worked heavily behind the scenes as a strategist to late leader Jack Layton, said the party doesn't have to change its identity to form government.
B.C. MP Nathan Cullen prominently highlighted his vision for the environment during his showcase. He said he is dedicated to halt plans for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
Ottawa MP and former foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar's showcase included a rap number from his supporter and former punk rocker NDP MP Charlie Angus. Dewar also vowed to take down Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Churchill, Man., MP Niki Ashton and Nova Scotia pharmacist Martin Singh highlighted how their personal backgrounds make them fit to fight in Parliament.