RE: If you hate Conservatives, you should love Nathan Cullen

Dear Progressive Canadians,

I’d like to take this blog post to fully explain to Canadians (and hopefully open-minded New Democrats) that NDP leadership candidate Nathan Cullen is the best situated to end the Harper government. His co-nomination plan is an almost guaranteed method of ousting the tyranny the Harper Conservatives have inflicted upon the nation.

In his proposed plan, EDAs (electoral district associations) would be given the (democratic) option of co-nominating candidates with the Green Party and Liberals in Conservative-held ridings. To be clear, no EDA would be forced into this arrangement, and this plan also requires consent from the other parties’ EDAs.

The charge that this plan is anti-democratic in any way is ridiculous. Canadians do not have a right to vote for the party of their choosing as insinuated by other leadership candidates (for example here). If you don’t believe me, then why are there no Bloc Quebecois candidates outside Quebec, especially in Francophone New Brunswick? Canadians have the right to vote for their choice of duly nominated candidates. A New Democrat (or any other Canadian) has every right to run as an independent; we saw this materialize in the 2006 Churchill race that saw Niki Ashton run against disgraced former NDP MP Bev Desjarlais, who was removed from the caucus for opposing same-sex marriage. The Cullen plan is not strategic voting; it’s strategic nominating.

To decide who the co-nominated candidate would be, a joint Liberal-NDP-Green EDA meeting would be held, and a candidate would be democratically selected from the conglomerate pool. If local New Democrats believe the best candidate is within their ranks and that New Democratic ideals and ideas are the most salient to Canadians, they should have no problem recruiting the most members to vote at the joint-EDA meeting. This new process would create a major incentive for membership recruitment at the riding level, meaning more resources for the NDP available in 2015.

I’m a proud New Democrat, but I’m a Canadian first. The Cullen plan is the best chance we have at forming an NDP government that will end the misguided policies Harper continues to implement.