While I haven’t made it to a Nathan Cullen event yet, and still have my reservations about his joint-nomination proposal, I did get the audio from a recent speech he made in Vancouver when local MP Fin Donnelly endorsed him for leader of the NDP.
You can hear the audio and the Q&A below in MP3 format.
Cullen emphasizes the need to reach beyond partisan politics. Noting that more people are members of Mountain Equipment Coop than all political parties in Canada. He defends his joint nomination meeting as a way to work to rectify this issue and put progressive politics back on the agenda. His emphasis is on the local associations making the decision to enact this process and that it is a one-time offer to get electoral reform on the agenda.
He also warns that Harper will gerrymander the new seats – despite the fact that Canada’s electoral boundaries are drawn by arm-lengths committees of Elections Canada.
He mentions that he is a secularist who “believes in the separation of church and state”, while also a supporter of the progressive church run aid organization KAIROS. This follows his call for putting the monarchy to a vote.
He notes his tendency to commit “exager-Nathans” with regards to his tendency to inflate crowds while saying he did get over 100 new members for the NDP at his Northern Gateway meeting at the Roundhouse that attracted 500 people without pitching for memberships.
He also talks about how the Conservatives walked into the Ethics Committee and demanded that the CBC be their key investigation. He opposed the Conservatives call to drag a judge before the committee, breaking the unspoken separation between the judiciary and legislature. Cullen, as chair of the committee was forced to right the subpoena, but left an out for the judge.
He finishes with an interesting exercise in psychology to note how when we shift patterns things become uncomfortable but we slowly adapt until what was once awkward becomes the norm. He relates this to politics by noticing that we need to recognize the discomfort that shifts in thinking require, but that they are possible.
Overall, a good speech, up to par with the expectations he’s been setting. I haven’t finished listening to the Q&A yet, so I don’t have any comments to add on that audio.
Nathan Cullen Q&A (quieter)