The first person of colouring to lead a major Canadian political party has been compared to the Liberal leader but insists he does not merely talk the talk
Jagmeet Singh hovered between tables, switching seamlessly between languages as he obliged photo requests. For a young mother from Ethiopia, the Canadian legislator had a greeting in Amharic. To her friend from Eritrea, he offered a few lines of Tigrinya, plucked from a linguistic arsenal that Singh estimates includes a word or phrases from about 45 tongues.
” At a period when we’re seeing the rise of a scary form of politics- divisive politics- I hope that I represent the opposite of all that ,” the leader of the progressive New Democratic party told the Guardian.” I hope I represent a type of politics where we bring people together, which is something we inspire people- and we do it with this motivating of building a world that’s better for everybody .”
He’s keenly aware that this brand of politics might remind many of another Canadian legislator: Justin Trudeau, the country’s Liberal prime minister .” We should always be striving to go further and be more appropriate ,” Singh deadpanned. With a chuckle, he added:” And my slant is that I’m just better .”
Singh, a practising Sikh and a cycling fanatic, burst on to the national stage in October with a decisive victory that set him at the helm of Canada’s third-largest party.