Friday, April 8, 2016

Cullen heads to convention as leader Mulcair's fate to be determined

The MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley may play a prominent role in this weekend's NDP convention at Edmonton's Shaw Centre.

Not so much for when it comes to the vote that will take place during the weekend, but more for what message he sends through the weekend and where he may be placed in the NDP roll call following the vote on the leadership of Tom Mulcair.

Members of the NDP are assembling in Edmonton this weekend and while there is much in the way of policy to discuss and a review of failed electoral campaign of last fall, the main event will come when delegates provide their opinion on Sunday as to whether they have confidence in Mr. Mulcair to carry on as party leader.

The MP from the Northwest has been a much desired barometer for the media for the last few weeks, providing commentary, news clips, sound bytes and background on how he sees the NDP coming out of their gathering.

Mr. Cullen outlined some of the themes that may play out through the weekend in Edmonton for the Huffington Post on Thursday, an article where he reflects on the last campaign and how the NDP has handled past disappointments.

Since the disappointing election results for the NDP of the October election, the issue of the fate of the leader has been percolating away, the distance of almost six months still not quite resolving the shock of the return to third party status in the House of Commons.

Questions on how Mr. Mulcair handled the campaign and what some believe was the lost opportunity to form a government is at the heart of the current split on whether the Quebec based leader still should have a hold on the leadership of the party.

As we outlined on the blog earlier this year, the Northwest MP indicated at that time that he had no interest in the NDP leadership, providing a number of thoughts on the topic for Global TV's Tom Clark.

As the NDP moved through the early part of this year and their rendez-vous with convention Mr. Cullen continued to express his support for the embattled NDP leader.

However, a number of other MP's, party officials and supporters have indicated that they believe that a change is needed, proclaiming a desire to redirect the NDP's attentions to more familiar themes.

Should Mr. Mulcair's hold on the leadership slip and the indications are that the topic will be a hot topic through the convention weekend, then pressure may build on Mr. Cullen to reconsider his options.

The vote on the leadership is set for Sunday morning, with results to be delivered to the assembled at High Noon Alberta Time.

The convention will be the focus of the Canadian news networks for much of the weekend and the Parliamentary Access Channel CPAC is promising complete coverage from opening session to the closing comments.

CTV News Channel
CBC News

CPAC (Live Convention Feed)

You can review the Agenda and other items of interest for this weekend from the NDP website

Some notes on the upcoming NDP convention can be found below:

April 8 -- Mulcair and the NDP head into couples therapy at convention
April 8 -- Who Stands Where on Mulcair's Leadership?
April 8 -- Strategic Voting Was the Right Call in 2015: Unifor Head
April 8 -- Some of the key NDP resolutions party members will debate at convention
April 8 -- NDP Leader Tom Mulcair to face critical test at party convention

April 7 -- Tom Mulcair and NDP face moment of truth in existential battle over the party
April 7 -- Tom Mulcair and the NDP try ot figure out where to go next
April 7 -- Horwath supports Mulcair's bid to stay on as NDP leader
April 7 -- NDP convention promises same old, same old
April 7 -- NDP faces the Tom Mulcair quandary
April 7 -- NDP leadership crisis won't be solved in a weekend
April 7 -- NDP's problems run deeper than leadership
April 7 -- NDP youth wing will not urge members to replace Mulcair
April 7 -- Five things to watch at the NDP convention

April 6 -- NDP youth wing expected to seek new leadership
April 6 -- Tom Mulcair will 'do everything' to keep oil in the ground if party tells him to
April 6 -- Mulcair not worried about MPs rebelling against his leadership
April 6 -- Mulcair should survive, but not for long
April 6 -- Dear NDP: Look before you leap
April 6 -- To Leap or Not Leap that is the NDP's question
April 6 -- Mulcair responds to Labour Congress statement predicting NDP leader will get less than 60 per cent in review
April 6 -- Mulcair Didn't Fail NDP, Flaky Strategic Voters Did

April 5 -- Mulcair makes a pitch to labour ahead of NDP vote
April 5 -- Mulcair dismisses criticism from Canadian Labour Congress president

We are following the developments from the Edmonton Convention through the weekend on our D'arcy McGee political portal here.

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