Election Night Remarks
Dennis was the NDP candidate in Saskatoon-Humboldt for the 1997 federal election. The NDP gained 1500 votes over its 1993 showing, but came up 221 votes short of the Reform Party candidate. Dennis made these remarks in conceding defeat.
Friends, I was deeply honoured last November when you nominated me as your NDP candidate in Saskatoon-Humboldt. I remain deeply honoured tonight. We ran a good campaign. We ran a decent and honourable campaign. We have done ourselves proud. But for a variety of reasons, we came up just a little bit short.
I want to thank each of you who worked in this campaign. What an experience this has been for all of us! When I walked into the committee rooms on the morning after the election was called, there were already people at work. And when I walked out of those same rooms at 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon, there were still people at work.
I want especially to thank my brothers and sisters in the labour movement. The NDP has experienced some rocky times since 1993. We lost party our party status in the House of Commons. Our party was in debt and labour came to our rescue. I’m not sure we would still be here as a party if you hadn’t helped us out. Of course, in helping us you were helping all Canadians, who benefit from a strong contingent of New Democrats in the House of Commons.
And tonight, under the inspired leadership of Alexa McDonough, we have an increased number of MPs – probably about 20 of them — going to Ottawa to represent Canadians. And I am very pleased about that.
I am also grateful to each of you, and I feel humbled by your love and dedication. You were there because, like Tommy Douglas, you believe that it is never too late to build a better world. You are the salt of the earth.
I thank my wife and dear companion, Martha Wiebe, for her unfailing support. I want to thank our daughters Maria and Anna for their love and their good cheer. I want to thank our extended families for their support
I thank the voters of Saskatoon-Humboldt. In the past 10 months I have met with thousands of you, and almost without exception our meetings have been polite and productive. But now you, the voters, have spoken. I accept your decision and I respect it.
I congratulate Jim Pankiw, who won tonight. I wish you well in your role as Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Humboldt.
I thank and congratulate all of the candidates who ran for election in Saskatoon-Humboldt. I wish each of you every good fortune in your endeavours.
Others among our NDP candidates have been defeated tonight in Saskatchewan. We share with you your disappointment, but be assured that over these past months, you have won our admiration and respect. There will be another day.
Friends, let’s celebrate tonight. Let’s enjoy one another. Then tomorrow, or the day after, let’s gets back to work. There is much to be done – in our families and our communities, in our places of work, and of course, in our great social democratic political party.
You and I will not rest until we have built Jerusalem in this green and pleasant land.