Two cheers for Nathan Cullen’s “plan to unite the ‘left’ that just might work”?

Oct 20th, 2011 | By | Category: Key Current Issues

Not that anyone is paying much attention (right now). But we’d just like to add our voices of support (or at least special interest) for the federal NDP leadership candidacy of Nathan Cullen — MP for the vast northern BC riding of Skeena-Bulkley Valley.

A few weeks ago, Barbara Yaffe noted in the Vancouver Sun that none of the NDP leadership candidates from Canada’s Pacific Province stand much of a serious chance. As her headline editor put it: “Credibility in Quebec is the key ingredient for next NDP chief and good news for front-runners Longueuil-born Topp, Outremont MP Mulcair.”

Mr. Cullen , however, has just come out with a proposal that, in our view at any rate, makes him an especially interesting candidate. He has said that a federal NDP under his leadership “would try to defeat Stephen Harper by proposing to Liberals and Greens that the three parties hold joint nomination meetings and run a single candidate in ridings currently held by Conservatives …  ‘Today I am asking New Democrats for a mandate as leader to co-operate with other progressive Canadians,’” he told reporters this past Tuesday.

Mr. Cullen’s scheme has some similarities with the progressive “cease-fire” proposal advanced a few years ago by BC academic and former federal NDP candidate Michael Byers — and touted on various earlier occasions on this particular website. And as Thomas Walkom urged in yesterday’s Toronto Star: “unlike more pie-in-the sky notions of a formal merger between the Liberals and NDP, Cullen’s idea might just work.” For this reason alone, whatever else may happen to Nathan Cullen’s candidacy, in our book he deserves at least two hearty cheers. He has given the federal New Democrat leadership race a deeper interest even for progressive Canadians who are not necessarily partisan NDP supporters — now or ever!

UPDATE : Readers of this piece may also be interested in a related somewhat later contribution from Randall White —  “More cheers for Nathan Cullen’s NDP leadership bid .. the new republic in Canada may be closer than we think? “.

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  1. I think Nathan Cullen is an exceptional candidate. His plan to unite progressives by holding joint nominations when paired with his support for Mixed Member Proportionality shows that he has a sophisticated short term and long term vision for the party and the country. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the way he does politics.

  2. Is the country ready for Nathan’s ideas? I sure hope so. He has my support.

  3. We are looking forward to welcoming Nathan Cullen in Thunder Bay on January 9, 2012, Monday, from 4-6 pm at the MadHouse. Come and meet him; he is a dynamo…and may be your next Prime Minister!

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