Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nathan Cullen firmly on side with coalition

The NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley is apparently in full agreement with his leader Jack Layton and the plans of the opposition Liberals to force the Conservatives from power and form a coalition of their own to run the nation.

Nathan Cullen spoke out on the boiling pot of water that has become Parliament, with his take on the controversy and how his party sees the way it should shake out.

Outlining the coalition deal as a way of dealing with an economic meltdown and denying that the party funding issue had anything to do with their deliberations, Cullen seems to be on side with the political power grab, one that will be made without benefit of a nod aye or nay from the voters.

Interestingly enough he offers up as his main concern that he “can’t go back to the voters of Skeena-Bulkley Valley and tell them there is hope around the corner. The mini-budget of the Conservatives didn't have any spending to help people get back to work.”

Though perhaps a good number of them might like for him to “come back” to the voters of Skeena-Bulkley Valley and explain how a coalition, not endorsed by the populace, is a better option than the current government and perhaps put that grand coalition idea to another vote.

The local MP’s contribution to the debate was found as the front page, headline story in Tuesday’s Daily News.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says an agreement is in place for parties to work together
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Pages one and two

Without a bailout for the economy an opposition-coalition is claiming it has no choice but to bail on the minority government.

On Monday, the Liberal Party, NDP and Bloc Quebecoise announced that they had formed a coalition that was looking to unseat the Conservative minority government and they said they would do so as early as next week.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen said the next 72 hours was looking volatile as both the federal government and its coalition usurpers planned what to do next.

"An accord has been signed to deal with this economic meltdown and to form a coalition government in Canada," said Cullen from Ottawa on Monday.

The federal government could fall as soon as next Monday with Stephane Dion, one of the least popular Liberal leaders since John Turner, as the installed Prime Minister.

Cullen said that Dion was the best choice the coalition could offer at this time.

"This started at the doorstep of (Stephen) Harper with his mini-budget to attack all kinds of things like labour rights and pay equity for women and, as a result, it has forced all three opposition parties into a coalition with a very specific agenda and mandate to get at fixing the economy again and putting people back to work," said Cullen.

In a minority government, the government always relies on the confidence of the house.

If that support is lost, the government does not have a mandate to act.

Cullen said that normally would mean an election call but after having had an election one month ago, there seems to be no appetite for one from the Canadian public.

In 2004, the NDP had done the same thing as they propose to do now, when they signed an agreement with then opposition leader Stephen Harper to replace Paul Martin's Liberal government.

While Harper is not feeling any love from the opposition, things are no better among some of his own caucus members.

While most Conservatives stood up to give him an ovation as he walked into parliament, the two cabinet ministers kept to their seats.

Minister of International Trade Stockwell Day and Minister of Justice Bob Nicholson both defied Conservative orders and sat on their hands, said reports.

Cullen denied that the elimination of a tax subsidy was the real cause of the coalition, citing that the fundraising he does is the fundraising he needs and that they were willing to take freezes on MP salaries.

But he said that without an economic stimulus package, all was moot.

"This government came forward with virtually nothing," said Cullen.

"I can't go back to the voters of Skeena-Bulkley Valley and tell them there is hope around the corner. The mini-budget of the Conservatives didn't have any spending to help people get back to work.

"No infrastructure programs, no retrofit, no Employment Insurance fixing. None of it. Nothing."

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