The case for Nathan Cullen


Shortly before this past weekend’s membership deadline, Nathan Cullen won the endorsements of two social media outlets, based primarily on his promise of cooperation with other parties.

Youth-led Leadnow.ca boasts a membership of 80,000 — roughly the same as the NDP’s membership at the start of the seven-month leadership campaign. Avaaz has more than 13 million members worldwide, 604,547 of them in Canada. “These two groups coming on board is huge for us,” Cullen, a British Columbia MP, said in an interview. “They have networks that go far, far beyond normal party structures. … The sheer number, that’s absolutely staggering.”

All the same, Greg Fingas raises various questions about how Mr. Cullen’s plan for joint nominations would actually work.


The case for Nathan Cullen

  1. Avaaz again?

  2. In the 2008 election, Elizabeth May was asking Canadians to support Liberal candidates in certain ridings.  Her act made it seem like she didn’t think must of her local Green candidates.  I would have been ticked off and told voters to any candidate they wanted.

    The problem with trying to make a cooperation agreement is that while the two parties are different ideologically, they also have different political cultures and values.  They have support from different groups of people.  The NDP is pro-union; the Liberals accept non-financial support from the business community.  I think that if an NDP candidate only ran against a Conservative, some Liberals supporters would vote Conservative.  If a Liberal candiate ran instead of the NDP candidate, some NDPers would stay home or vote Green.  Remember in cooperation politics 1 + 1 does not always equal 2.

    Finally, which party’s candidate would get to run in particular ridings?

  3. Yeah for Nathan! He has the best policies and he is the most realistic about the future of the NDP. It is a long way to a federal election, but the chances of the NDP winning are low — especially with them sinking like a rock in Quebec. Cullen is prepared to say NOW he will work with the Liberals to defeat the terrible Conservatives in 2015. There also is another issue that leadership candidates are not discussing, and it is huge:

  4. Greg Fingas really needs to read Stuart Parker’s paper.  Because what a load of claptrap.  The NDP would carry on as usual, no resources are being diverted to anywhere, they are still a party and still an EDA even if they do cooperate during an election.  And there is a great deal of grassroots desire for this or Avaaz and Leadnow would not have signed on.  They do ask their memberships what they should campaign on, you know.  Perhaps not as much in each of the political parties, because they reinforce each others partisanship and rosy hued outlook.  They forget the job is to do what is best for the country sometimes, which is understandable in their honestly held opinion that their party is what is best for the country, but we can’t afford that rigid line of thinking anymore.

    Although, that may just be the big mouths of the party and not the rank and file membership.  Because I can tell you, I’m having a hard time finding that many Liberals who AREN’T on board with at least looking at cooperation in some form.

    • You mean the paper that I linked to in that very post? Rest assured that I read it, and tried to pick up on much of what it missed.

      And the resource issue is a huge one. No, the parties won’t cease to exist – but they’ll have to use a great deal of both paid and volunteer work sorting out the mechanics at the national level, running votes as to whether to participate, then holding additional nomination meetings if so – which is all time they’ll have to pull from other priorities. And when even the most optimistic scenarios would see a national seat-allocating scheme move roughly the same number of ridings as a 2-3-point shift in the underlying polls, I see every reason to suspect the work is better placed elsewhere.

      That said, I’m definitely curious to hear if rank-and-file Libs are indeed willing to cooperate in some form. But even if so (and I remain to be convinced that they won’t once again bow to the will of a leader who finds cooperation to be icky), *how* to cooperate is another important question which far too many people seem to want to ignore.

      • I apologize.  I didn’t see a link, and I even looked since I was surprised you were talking that close to Parker’s report without mentioning it.  I guess I shouldn’t respond to posts after midnight.  The National level will run votes to see whether to participate?  Like a poll?  That’s awesome because we were just sitting around here wondering how we’d come up with the money for a poll since the media doesn’t seem to be interested.

        National shouldn’t be holding the nomination meetings, that should be the EDAs, don’t you think?  And one nomination meeting between three riding associations shouldn’t be all that onerous.

        How to cooperate is an important question.  It is important to start the process of exploring this now, because cooperation may just end up being not advertising against each other.  But I personally hope it is more substantial than that.

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