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COMMENTARY · 5th September 2011
Merv Ritchie
There are very few Members of Canadaís Parliament, currently or in the past, that have proposed and had a legislative Bill passed while sitting on the opposite side of the floor from the government. Even fewer that has received unanimous support. There are also very few MPís whom have garnered the respect of the majority of all the MPís regardless of the Party they associate themselves with. Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is in this very small group (it may just well be a group of one).

Cullen displays the same compassion as did Jack Layton. Cullen has the same charisma as did Layton. When Cullen arrives at a function his smile and warmth fills the room. His manner at standing in front of microphones to address an audience might even be better than Laytonís. He is brief, quick to humour and steps away long before the audience becomes bored. Cullen is a natural master in communications.

When he put forward his ĎPrivate Members Billí in 2007 he did it on principle. It was to do with the poisonous plastic products contained within childrenís toys and food materials; Bill C-307 was to ban bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate. This was ground breaking, and after Cullen managed to stick handle it like Gretsky and negotiate with all the other Partyís, it received unanimous support. He is a principled man. See article on this here.

Cullen is also a cautious man. He rarely, if ever, gets involved in any personal controversy. He takes time to listen to all points of view and allows an opportunity for all perspectives to be heard. He is also a politician that can easily deflect a question, avoiding a direct answer so deftly the questioner does not even realize his question was avoided. Cullen is truly a very competent person to lead any organization, even one called Canada.

Today he represents one of the largest Ridings in all of Canada; the largest in BC, and he has held it ever since it was re-created in 2004. Cullen has increased his victory support at every election since he started, to now receiving over 55 percent support of the area residents. He has had a long list of challengers many who have spent much more money than he on their campaigns to unseat him.

Conservatives; Clay Harmon, Sharon Smith, Michael Scott and Andy Burton.

Liberals; Kyle Warwick, Corinna Morhart, Gordon Stamp-Vincent and Miles Richardson.

Greens; Roger Benham, Hondo Arendt and Phil Brienesse.

Canadian Action Party; Maggie Braun and Mary-Etta Goodacre.

Christian Heritage Party; Rod Taylor (4 times) and Frank Martin from the Marxist Leninist Party.

That is fifteen different challengers in four elections and Cullen has continually increased his lead, every time.

Cullen has the Layton look and charm. Nathan is balding like Jack; he is not tall, just like Jack, he smiles like Jack, captivates an audience like Jack and has the respect of all the MPís of the House just like Jack.

Voting for any other NDP member to assume the role Jack built for the NDP party would be doing Jack a disservice.

Nathan Cullen is not Jack Layton. No one can be Jack Layton. But Cullen may be just the person Layton paved the road for.

Cullen is fresh, new, vibrant (without any baggage) and has an articulate wife with a new set of twins to inspire a nation.

I am not an NDPír. I belong to no party and I am not a nationalist but if I was to look around the Country and determine just who I would like to see as a person to represent the spirit of Canadians, I see no one better.

Comment by James Ippel on 7th September 2011
The first time the vote to abolish the Gun Registry Mr Cullen voted to "retain" the registry.
This became an election issue when he first came up for re-election. His comment after voting contrary to the wishes of his constituents was: "I was sick to my stomach for three days when I realized what I had done."
Every constituent in Skeena-Bulkley Valley is aware of this, but forgave him for this and re elected him for other good works that he did.
Enough said, end of conversation.
Great Commentary
Comment by Lori Merrill on 6th September 2011
Thanks Merv for putting into words the great leadership we have in our local M.P. Nathan Cullen, ands the amazing possibilities he holds for all Canadians.
Comment by A.Heidl on 5th September 2011
I think Nathan will make a very fine leader for Canada. I remember back in March after the earthquake in Japan, my cousin Michael Craven predicted that Nathan would become one of Canada's PM in the near future. I only hope if Canada has a crisis he will face up to the challenge and give our people confidence in times of need.
Wrong James
Comment by Karen on 5th September 2011
Nathan Cullen supported the Private members bill to scrap the long gun registry on September 22, 2010. He did not change his stance from the May 15, 2009 vote.

I believe that Nathan personally supports the long-gun registry (I could be wrong) but it is not uncommon for him to support the majority of his constituents over his, and his parties', wishes. Something that is very rare in a politician.

I agree with Merv that Nathan truly would make a fine leader of the NDP - and the country.
Comment by James Ippel on 5th September 2011
Mr Cullen voted with his party to retain the Gun Registry in the first vote. He did apologize for letting down his constituents, but he did whathe did.
I couldn't have said it better.
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 5th September 2011
The only thing I would add, is we must not forget his ability to rise up agaisnt controversy and stand for what he and his riding believe. I am pro gun control. But respect that Nathan has voted against the gun registry in every vote, against his party FOR his riding. His riding speaks loud and clear to their support to get rid of it, and Nathan has backed his riding. I respect any politican who can occasionally cross party lines in the best intrest of those who elected him.