03.06.2012 09:25 AM

Nathan and me

A few Liberal friends are very interested in Nathan Cullen. He’s the only NDP leadership aspirant with the brains, and the guts, to openly discuss merger/coalition/cooperation.

I forgot, until now, that The Current interviewed me for their segment about Nathan. I’m about ten minutes in, and Nathan’s very interesting reaction to it follows.

I stand by my view: this isn’t going to happen, principally due to the hubris and stupidity of many Liberals and New Democrats. As such, get ready for TEN MORE YEARS of Harper, Robocon Con or not.


  1. James Calnan says:

    Reforming from the riding level up may help, the structures tend to ossify at the grassroots and keep putting forward safer choices for election, which is fine if all you want are backbenchers supporting platforms that lack clear focus or actions.

    Its the candidates and their leadership on the issues in election and in the House that can create the progressive alternative for the voters out of candidates from any party…

  2. Aaron says:

    There has got to be someone brave enough and intelligent enough within the Liberal ranks that agrees with Nathan. Find this person Warren! Tell us who they are and we will convince them to run. You’ve got a year.

  3. Christian says:

    I shudder to think what our country will look like after 10 more years of this anti-democratic ideologue running the show. Harper was right when he said we won’t recognize Canada when he’s done. My question is will there still be a Canada? The pressures building up in the federation between east and west are in my mind reaching a boiling point (i.e.: Alberta DEMANDING Ontario worship the tarsands and than blowing a gasket when McGuinty rightly pints out that the ‘petro’ dollar has destroyed Ontario’s manufacturing sector). And what does our PM have to say about it?. Nada, zilch, squat. In fact he once said he doesn’t care if there is one national gov’t or ten. If a merger of the Liberals and NDP will send this guy and his pack of lying Con-bots packing than I’m all for it.

    Warren, if Nathan wins would you consider running for the Liberal leadership as the merger candidate? I’m ready to sign up if you are.

    • Warren says:

      That’s nice of you, thank you. But my kids come first. And you guys!

      I’m too plain-spoken to be a politician, don’t you think?

      • Christian says:

        Nah! You just run as the “Tell-it-Like-it-is” candidate. Hell the Right has been winning elections with candidates like that. Except in your case you’d be more truthful and base your statements on things the Right doesn’t get, like facts.

        I hear you about the kids – they always come first.

      • The Dude says:

        But so is Nathan!

  4. JM says:

    Nathan Cullen is a prime minister in a sea of opposition leaders. I’m fully expecting the NDP NOT to elect him, and instead choose Ragin’ Tom Mulcair.

    I’m an Albertan, so I don’t care one whit about the Libs beating the NDP or the NDP beating the Libs (at least federally). I find the whole thing bizarre, to be honest, and wish someone could explain to it to me.

    At the same time, I don’t want a merger — I want d├ętente. I want to kick Conservatives’ butt so we can help all the progressive Albertans I know TEARING their hair out when shmucks like Brian Jean (my former MP!) and Rob Anders (the MP for my university; I lived across Crowchild and had Jim Prentice as my actual MP) win.

    As Cullen says — progressive Canadians should put their country before party. As someone who supports both the NDP and LPC on a wide range of issues, but disagree with them on a lot of stuff (I despise a lot of the NDP’s econ policy, for example) I want the two parties to work together to help bring back the Canada I knew and loved as a youth.

    That won’t happen until all progressives work together, putting our country before party, to beat the CPC.

    On the NDP side, only Nathan Cullen will do that.

    P.S. Heaven help us if Peggy Nash wins NDP leader. I have massive respect for her as a person, but as a politician she’ll snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    • dave says:

      Relax, JM, I ‘ve got your back.

      Around 1987 a fellow named Vander Zalm was chosen head of the Socreds and Premier of all BC. Next day, I joined the NDP. I was able to fix that situation.

      A couple of weeks ago I chatted with a person on the phone and signed up again with the NDP so’s I could vote for Nathan. I’ll get ‘er done, fear not. I am doing it to bring on the Canada that my grandkids can contribute to with all their full humanity.

  5. Geoffrey Laxton says:

    I apologize for interrupting, but I had a “discussion” with a Conservative blogger back in 2006, an argument really, the transcript of which is buried deep in my archives (I am looking for it), but in the meantime, please allow me to say that my recollection is that Stephen Harper didn’t actually say: “You won’t recognize Canada when I am through with it”, which is taken as the Gospel truth quote. This was a bone of contention with a Conservative blogger and we finally agreed that this was a paraphrase of something that Harper said. What he really said, as I recall was a lot more “Straussian”, hidden meaning, subtle, but for the life of me, I am unable to find it right now of course. Sorry for the interruption again fellas. I just want to ensure accuracy when we debate these “reformacons” as Warren calls them.

  6. Philippe says:

    First time I hear this guy speak. He makes a lot of sense – seems to be a natural “uniter”.

    Very impressive.

  7. billg says:

    The ‘petro dollar’ has ruined Ontario’s manufacturing sector?
    You major in rhetoric at U of PolySci?
    How exactly does that sentence help Canadian unity or, foster any kind of goodwill?
    On one hand you complain about the East/West pressure’s building and then you throw that sentence out there.
    Pretend I robocalled you earlier and have a go at a do-over.

  8. Frmr Disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    As you know, Im a little gun shy of mergers, but I like the idea of one progressive candidate for each Con held riding(working together, and with a top flight candidate,we could turf my riding’s ineffective Con MP)….If I had to support someone for the NDP leadership…..it would be Mr. Cullen…..he’s smart, environmentally aware(Helloooo ReformaTories), and as a bonus….from BC…..

  9. Michael says:

    There was an interesting analysis of the Cullen plan done here:


    “The parties would also have to assure themselves that the local electorate would be accepting of such a proposal. Electors have the right to vote, but it’s political parties who decide on who the available choices will be. It’s a big leap to assume that the public will be accepting of a process run by a tiny proportion of the whole riding population to conspire to eliminate certain choices from the ballot in the hopes of torquing the election outcome. It’s another big leap to assume that this would be done in a vacuum, given that the Conservative Party would be following along closely, and reserving all their strategic and tactical options”

  10. Mathew says:

    I think that the idea of a merger/coalition between the two left-ish leaning parties is something that I believe should truely be explored. If members from both the NDP and Liberal parties are truely interested in helping build a better counter offer to the Conservatives a merger or coallition is a very sexy option.

    The are a couple reasons that justify this crazy concept. Historically there are two parties who have governed this country. After the fall of the “Real” Conservative part in the nineties the party dwindled into oblivion.That is until a merger provided the right wing with the opportunity to redesign itself, and once again challenge for the government of this country.

    The Conservative breathed new life into their party by merging the Alliance and Conservatives. Members from both parties have gone on to reep the benefits of this politically savvy decision.

    All was fine for the Natural Governing party until we *#!@%# it up and ruined the trust canadians had granted us. Since we have lost power we have not proved any ability to evolve and grow from our old stigma. We need to become savy and utilize the ability to merge in order to regain canadian confidence and provide an attractive option to canadians.

    I am a life long 29 yr Liberal from Ontario who has become disillusioned with his party at both levels. It just so happens that I am also a teacher who has been subject to the McGuinty gov. Drummond report. living in northern ontario this merger is really appealing both provincially and federally.

  11. star sailor says:

    Do not forget Tom Muclair is a Canadian who loves Quebec. If he does not win then he should join the Liberals and take his NDP people with him. His converstions are base on the needs of Canda

  12. Corey says:

    I disagree with most of the comments above. Ridiculous nonsense that you can’t win an election, that you have to form a coalition or merge parties like we’re dealing with corporations or something. Fact check: Liberals formed majority governments in 1968, 1974 & 1980 against a united conservative party and a new democratic party. The idea that we would need to merge to form government is ridiculous, that could actually make things worse. It’s not at all clear that the NDP + Liberal left vote will easily defeat the Cons + Liberal right vote. A merger is really splitting the Liberals into the two other parties – and then we have the US system. Not a good idea. What happened to winning elections? It’s total b.s. to pretend Harper has a lock on 40% of the vote and we can’t beat him without merging. Canadians can be convinced to change their vote, the Liberal Party especially has failed to give them good reasons so far, but that doesn’t make it impossible.

    • SteveM says:

      Corey, perhaps you can tell us who you see within the Liberal party that can lead them to victory in 2015. Please provide us with names, or do you believe a shining knight in white hair or a jeanne d’arc will emerge and Canadians will flock to the Liberals.

      Just assuming that Canadians will suddenly return to the Liberal fold, considering their current abject state, is disingenuous. Same for the NDP and their Quebec-centric 5 years of fame. Where are the Liberal leaders, and who in the NDP leadership race can rally Canadians to the progressive side?

  13. Tim says:

    1980 is a long time ago. And that was not a beloved Liberal government even though it produced our Constitution and our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Please keep an open mind.

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