Cullen Backing Mulcair at NDP Convention
Edmonton, AB – Will he stay or will he go?
That’s the big question facing NDP leader Tom Mulcair this weekend in Edmonton as the party gathers for its national convention and a leadership vote this Sunday.
Though his future is up in the air, he will have the support of at least one prominent party member, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen.
“I’m supportive of Tom, though I don’t shy away from the mistakes he made in the last election. I think they’re real and they need to be addressed.
“But I’m one of those people that believe you invest and that people can learn from these things and get better. But I’m also not being real boisterous about it simply because I know it’s up to the membership here, not people like me.”
He acknowledges one of those mistakes was promising Canadians a balanced budget while at the same time promising both a national pharmacare and a national childcare program.
“Very traditional progressive ideas which I think hit people kind of funny. How can you do both of the these things? So being consistent in what we say and not being afraid to be as progressive as we can be. Both good lessons.”
Mistakes aside, does he think Mulcair will receive the roughly 70% support many think he’ll need to survive?
“My suspicion is yes but I don’t know. New Democrats are a funny bunch. We are fiercely loyal, we like to support our leaders, we don’t tend to throw leaders out if they have one bad election,” says Cullen.
“So that history is there. But the culture has also shifted in our party, that the expectation is to win. So I don’t know, I wish I could answer your question more directly.”