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My Choice for the Leadership of Canada’s New Democrats

Monday March 19, 2012

For quite possibly the first time in its history, the New Democratic Party has several candidates running for the leadership who have the potential to become Prime Minister of Canada.  This both speaks to the quality of the candidates and the party’s new role as the nation’s Official Opposition.

This has been made possible by the leadership of Jack Layton and the outpouring of support received by the party in the last Federal Election.  The unprecedented support received from Quebec has energized New Democrats and created an amazing opportunity to change Canada for the better.

But more than that, the New Democratic Party has the chance to bring about an important paradigm shift.  The “total war” tactics embraced by the Conservative Party has underlined a deep sickness in Canada’s democracy.

The Conservatives are not this sickness, they are a symptom of it.

The fault lies in a system that is fundamentally unfair and does not accurately represent the vote preferences of Canadians.  It is based on a old fashioned two party paradigm, that assumes a Progressive faction and a Conservative faction.  In a multiparty dynamic, whichever of these factions is divided faces a substantial disadvantage.

We saw this disadvantage play out quite spectacularly during the 1990s when the Reform Party (later the Alliance) and the Progressive Conservatives divided the right wing vote, allowing the Liberal Party to govern with nearly unlimited power for three consecutive majorities based on roughly 40% of the vote.  Now we face a similar division on the Progressive side of the aisle.

Is it any wonder that nearly 40% of Canadians don’t bother to vote, when there vote may not affect the outcome?

Is it any wonder that youth voters feel disconnected from the process?

There is one candidate for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party who understands these issues and who is willing to have frank and honest conversations about our choices going forward.

A candidate who has the ability to speak beyond the New Democratic Party’s traditional base to an entire array of new voters.  A candidate who understands that we will need to fundamentally change the political paradigm in this country in order to prevent falling back into bad old habits.

That candidate is Nathan Cullen.

Nathan Cullen speaks to youth honestly and forthrightly, without talking down to them and offering real ideas.  He communicates real reasons to support the New Democratic Party and, more importantly, to join the political process.  He speaks effectively about the need to create a new economy, one that is environmental, sustainable and opens new opportunities.  His campaign speaks to the most important values of New Democrats.

I am very proud to be one of Jack Layton’s Orange Wave, inspired by him to vote for real change in our country.

I am very proud to have joined the New Democratic Party, prompted to by the grassroots campaign, Lead Now.

And I am exceptionally proud to support Nathan Cullen as the next leader of New Democratic Party and Prime Minister of Canada.

 

Nathan Cullen’s Webpage: www.nathancullen.ca

Canada’s New Democrats Leadership Webpage: www.leadership2012.ndp.ca

Lead Now’s Webpage: www.leadnow.ca

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