Saturday, June 4, 2016

Nathan Cullen decides against NDP leadership run

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP
Nathan Cullen stepped out of the
NDP leadership race on Friday

(photo from CPAC feature)
Mid afternoon Friday brought Nathan Cullen to his final decision on this go round when it comes to the leadership of the Federal NDP, with the Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP announcing he had decided not to seek the top job to replace Tom Mulcair.

Reports through the day provided some of the background to his announcement, with the MP observing on his decision that "it's not never, it's not now" as he brought his personal journey of review on the subject to a conclusion in the foyer of Parliament Hill.

A more expansive statement was provided to his website on Friday, with the NDP MP noting three factors in his decision:

My decision not to run is based on three factors at this moment in time: what’s best for my young family, what’s best for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, and what’s best for the federal NDP. 

The realities of representing a huge rural riding as far away from Ottawa as it is possible to be, while travelling the country during and perhaps beyond a leadership campaign, would not allow me to be the kind of dad I want to be to my two young boys. 

Nor would they allow me to finish the work I set out to do alongside my constituents in Skeena, particularly around energy issues. And these realities mean I could not provide the focus on leadership and growth that our party requires right now.

The Parliamentary Access channel CPAC, featured a ten minute report on the decision as part of its Headline Politics feature, including the Question and Answer session that followed in the scrum on Parliament Hill. (see here)

Mr. Cullen's name was listed at or near the top for many pundits in the weeks following the NDP convention of April, when NDP delegates unceremoniously suggested that Mr. Mulcair's time as leader was over.

Since that time, every appearance in the House of Commons, in the national media or during a trip back to the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding was watched for a hint on where that decision might be heading, with the media relaying every comment and parsing many of his observations seeking some indication as to where his political weather vane was blowing.

With the leadership debate now in the background the NDP MP will look to redirect the focus to his efforts on legislation in Ottawa and concerns from the vast expanse of the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding.

Though one imagines that as the leadership campaign heats up, some in the NDP may yet seek to encourage him to reconsider, particularly if the list of would be leaders proves to be underwhelming.

As the ever popular saying in politics goes, never, say never ... something which Mr. Cullen alluded to in his announcement of Friday.

Mr. Cullen's announcement quickly spread out from Ottawa, grabbing space on twitter and filling the online portals for many of Canada's news outlets. Some of the notes from the announcement can be found below:

B.C. MP Nathan Cullen won't seek to replace Tom Mulcair as NDP Leader
'Why pretend?' Nathan Cullen rules out NDP leadership run
MP Nathan Cullen rules out bid for NDP leadership
Few lining up for chance to lead the NDP
MP Nathan Cullen won't seek NDP leadership
B.C. MP Nathan Cullen won't run for NDP leadership
Nathan Cullen opts out of running to replace Muclair as NDP leader
BC MP Nathan Cullen won't seek NDP leadership
Cullen won't run for federal NDP Leadership
Cullen confirms he won't seek NDP party leadership
Nathan Cullen says he won't run for NDP leadership
Cullen not running for NDP leadership
Nathan Cullen formally declines Federal NDP leadership bid
Nathan Cullen won't seek to replace Mulcair as NDP leader
NDP stalwarts line up to avoid worst job in Canadian politics - the party's leadership

His decision will bring to an end for now, the list of dispatches from reporters, commentators and political observers, many of which we have been tracking since the NDP convention, those notes can be reviewed from our archive of A Mulling Mr. Cullen.

You can review the scope of his work this session on Parliament Hill from our archive page here.

A wider overview of political notes both Federal and Provincial can be found on our D'Arcy McGee political portal.

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