Nathan Cullen answers babblers' questions, February 16 2:30 PST/5:30 EST

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Nathan Cullen answers babblers' questions, February 16 2:30 PST/5:30 EST


NDP Leadership candidate Nathan Cullen will be on babble February 16 at 2:30 pm PST/5:30 pm EST to answer your questions about the NDP Leadership race and his candidacy for Leader of the Opposition. babblers were asked (a loooong time ago!) to submit questions for just this event. You can find that thread here.

Please feel free to add more questions in this thread, give your approval of previous questions, and variously discuss Cullen's upcoming appearance.

We're very excited to welcome Nathan to babble!


Issues Pages: 
dacckon dacckon's picture

As someone living in Quebec, I know many people in the last election who usually vote Bloc but changed their vote to the NDP. Regarding your cooperation plan, why wouldn't you allow the bloc to participate in such a thing? Doesn't that send a bad message to soft nationalists? Why should we be having this conversation when we achieved our greatest electoral victory and when other social democratic governments dominate the political stage in other countries without this plan? Are there any other parties in other jurisdictions that have used this plan and achieved a sucessful result?

Ken Burch

The argument has been made that the NDP has to choose a leader from Quebec this time if it is to be able to consolidate its 2011 gains there in the next election.  What do you feel you have to offer as a leader that will compensate for the fact that you're from somewhere else?

Bill Davis

Much has been made of the Electro-motive plant in London shutting down and moving south during this leadership race.  It's nice to hear nice words from the candidates, but the reality working people and their families have lost again.  It's all but over now and all we hear is, 'lets make changes to the Investment Canada Act', years from now, if we form government.  I don't find that overly impressive.  You've also highlighted the ongoing Northern Gateway Pipeline project going through your riding.  Instead of just nice words and platitudes, how will the pipeline actually be stopped?  How do you see this process unfolding?



Welcome Nathan.

You have said you would like to change Canada's relationship with the monarchy. Canada's First Nations treaties are with the Crown.

Would you kindly a) take the time to detail your thoughts on Canada's relationship with the monarchy and how you would change it and b) explain how this would affect First Nations and their treaty rights?



Nathan, if you have time, I also have a second question:

What is your vision for a made-in-Canada defence plan?



Sent by  Don Kossick in Saskatoon:

Canada has been negotiating the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement
under fairly secret deliberations.

We do know that there will be segments affecting local procurement
practices of City Governments, School Boards, Health Regions ect that will
not protect a priority to buy or contract locally or regionally. Also they
will not be allowed allowed to create future policy that would encourage a
public presence in key sectors such as water, transportation, local food
security initiatives, sustainable energy development etc.

How do you propose to turn  this around given how far the government of
Canada has gone in negotiating away fundamental Canadian rights?


Don Kossick
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Three related questions.  First, are you familiar with George Lakoff's work on cognitive framing?  Second, do you realize how effectively the right has used similar methods to reshape public consciousness over the past thirty years?  And third, assuming positive responses to the first two questions, how committed would you be as NDP leader to employing the techniques of cognitive framing to reorient public discourse in a progressive direction?


I would  like to thank Don Kossick of Saskatoon for his excellent question.  One of the main purposes of CETA, as most of us on the left surely realize, is to lock in provisions to prevent the cancellation of policies brought in by the Harper government over the next four years.  Once CETA is in place, it will serve in combination with NAFTA and other trade pacts to solidify the status quo.  The NDP will be powerless to change things even if they form a majority government next time around.  To cite one classic example of this danger, note the inability of Bob Rae's NDP government in Ontario to bring in a public auto insurance plan like Manitoba's, Saskatchewan's, and BC's.  Under the terms of NAFTA, the province would have had to pay astronomical punitive damages to American private insurance companies to compensate them for lost business.  The same will happen, for example, if some of our health care providers are privatized.  We'll never be able to get rid of the interlopers, exactly as Harper wants.  CETA is a time bomb, for this reason and the others that Mr. Kossick has articulated so well.  Strangely, however, we never hear much from the NDP about it.  Good thing we have the Council of Canadians to do the spadework and bitching for us.


Cabrito wrote:

... note the inability of Bob Rae's NDP government in Ontario to bring in a public auto insurance plan like Manitoba's, Saskatchewan's, and BC's.  Under the terms of NAFTA, the province would have had to pay astronomical punitive damages ...

NAFTA only came into effect in 1994, long after Rae reneged, and I seriously don't think the original FTA would have been any kind of problem. Sorry for the thread drift.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

We will only be accepting new questions until the end of tomorrow. So if you have any burning queries, get them out of your system ASAP!


I forgot about this question! For reasons that Nathan will probably understand, I quite like it.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

bump! Last day to add questions!

kim elliott kim elliott's picture

Some more questions for Nathan may come from this blog posted by Gary Shaul today. It analyzes Nathan's proposal for cooperation with other parties.

"Can Cullen's proposal work? Historian and political activist Stuart Parker has just produced a new study on this proposal. It was released by the Catch 22 Campaign yesterday. What follows is the Executive Summary with a link to the full study. I think that readers will find it interesting."

Life, the unive...

Your rural proposals seem pretty tepid, western focused and mostly motherhood statements, (but at least you have made some effort to address issues that has been lacking from other candidates).


How do you propose to get southern rural Canadians, in places outside the west, to abandon the Conservatives (and non-voting) and begin to move towards electing New Democrats?


Thanks for participating.  A few quick questions:

1) In your view, how should an NDP government build economic democracy? Can you relate this to your economic theme of "wealth creation"?

2) I am deeply distressed at the comments made by you and some of your supporters regarding the fading relevance of political parties and the suggestion that those opposed to cooperation want to "go back in time".  What is your plan to build the party and its institutions to 2015 and beyond?

3) If negotiations for joint-nominations were to go ahead, can you specify some aspects of the plan you would absolutely not compromise, and which would be open for discussion?

4) Do you foresee Liberal intransigence on MMP to be a significant obstacle to electoral reform in a post-cooperation government?

wage zombie

What do you think about "supermajority" requirements for referendums?  Almost 58% of BC residents voted for BC-STV in the first referendum, yet it failed due to the 60% supermajority requirement.  Additionally, this notion has also come up in discussions about self-determination in Quebec, with the NDP accepting that 50%+1 is enough.  What do you think about supermajority requirements for referendums?  Are there any cases in which you see supermajority requirements as being necessary?

Brian Glennie

Yay Nathan!!


Tom Mulcair's great-grandfather was Premier of Quebec, Paul Dewar's mother was Mayor of Ottawa and President of the NDP and Jack's father was a Cabinet Minister. Can someone become Leader of the NDP without a pedigree?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Closing until Thursday!

Topic locked