03/23/2012 07:36 EDT | Updated 05/23/2012 05:12 EDT

NDP leadership candidate Martin Singh says country lacks leadership

Despite a lot of similarities between the policies of the candidates to lead the NDP, Peggy Nash says one thing sets her apart from most of them: her sex.

"Never, ever, underestimate the tenacity and determination of a woman leader," Nash said as she wrapped up her speech to delegates in Toronto.

New Democrats are meeting Friday and Saturday to choose a new leader to replace Jack Layton, who died of cancer last August.

Nash, who represents a Toronto riding in the House of Commons, had a former NDP leader introduce her. Alexa McDonough took to the stage to tell party members why they should vote for Nash instead of one of the other six candidates.

"We need a leader with the combination of skills, talent and experience to get us there," McDonough said.

"And that leader is Peggy Nash."

Nash was forced to improvise when the teleprompter lost track of where she was in the speech, leaving her without a script for several minutes before music started to play her off the stage.

Nash also took issue with people who complained the leadership contest wasn't interesting enough, given how similar the candidates' policies are, chalking it up to the quality of the candidates.