TORONTO -- With the election of the NDP well underway, the emergence of Nathan Cullen in third place puts him in an interesting role: a kingmaker.
In the third round of voting, Cullen came in third with 24 per cent of the vote compared with 44 per cent for Thomas Mulcair and 32 per cent for Brian Topp. It was not immediately clear what his intentions are.
Cullen is in part controversial because he wants New Democrats to suspend their partisanship and put country ahead of party.
The MP from B.C.’s Skeena-Bulkley Valley is proposing the NDP hold joint-nomination meetings with the Greens and Liberals in certain ridings across the country to ensure that only one candidate emerges as the voice of progressive voters, thereby reducing the chances a Conservative candidate can claim electoral victory.
It’s a controversial idea that captured little support from his fellow contenders, but Cullen believes defeating Stephen Harper’s Conservatives is the most important task and he is willing to reach out to other political parties to make it happen.
For those who remember past leadership contests know the role of a third or fourth place candidate (and who they may choose to support) can direct the course of the election. Some reports have said that Cullen would more naturally support Mulcair.
At the 2006 Liberal convention, Gerard Kennedy helped propel Stephane Dion by bringing all his delegates to Dion. Dion subsequently beat the two supposed front-runners, Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff.
Cullen was first elected in 2004 in Skeena-Bulkley Valley and is married with two children.
Here's more on Nathan Cullen.
Thank you for joining us. Lots to review here:
Convention Coverage, HuffPost Style: The Huffington Post Canada brings you comprehensive coverage of the NDP leadership convention in Toronto, with photos, behind-the-scenes video, opinion and reporting from the convention floor.
DELEGATES LEAVE THE HALL
After a long two days, delegates file out of convention for good
Mar 24, 2012 | Source: Keek.com
|@ RyanPainterShow : It is AMAZING how quickly ppl have ALREADY written off @ThomasMulcair based on his first speech. You'll see, is all I have to say #ndpldr|
|@ alishasawhney : Muclair represents the new face of the NDP in Canadian politics. Was his lack of vigour in his speech just due to exhaustion? #ndpldr|
|@ seleross : I only have twitter over here. Terrible reviews of speech; no idea what was actually said. #ndpldr|
|@ tomhawthorn : No question. Fiasco of a victory speech by Mulcair. Wonder who'll tell him? #ndpldr|
|@ itsabbeyk : After 7 months of campaigning and 12+ hours of coverage on CBC, it's finally over and an ex-Liberal is leading the NDP. #ndpldr|
|@ freethephoenix : Wonderful speech, Mulcair!! And Congratulations!! Don't heed the haters :) We'll make Canada better for them, too. #ndpldr|
|@ RayCecile : Mulcair's speech didn't say anything about putting a sound policy in place that will help business' create jobs #cdnpoli #ndpldr|
|@ SimStr1 : No fire in @thomasmulcair. We need fire from the left and @ElizabethMay has it. We'll see who inspires youth! #ndpldr|
|@ ocean_raven : Rethinking my support of the NDP now that Mulcair is in the leadership role. I do not trust him. #ndpldr|
|@ evansolomoncbc : Thomas Mulcair says "in order to have first ndp fed govt our party must reach beyond traditional base" #cdnpoli #ndpldr|
|@ IvisonJ : "Our future is limitless, if we get our priorities right" - Mulcair. He made that line sound like he was ordering pizza. #ndpldr|
"From medicare to public pensions, these values are reflected in the institutions we built, institutions we risk losing under the polices of the current government."
|@ Snafulp : @HuffPostCanada There goes Jack Layton's dream and hardwork down the drain..This man is a wolf in sheep's clothing..I am so sad today|
|@ althiaraj : "Our future is limitless if we get our priorities right," Mulcair says|
"Democracy can't just mean the right to vote. Democracy must also mean .. knowing that your vote matters."
Mulcair: (paraphrased) The youth are so turned off by today's politics they won't vote. It's not that they don't care, it's that they don't trust their vote will make a difference.
Mulcair talks about the people he met in community centres across the country:
"The voices of those Canadians should not only be heard, they should be at the centre of our national agenda."
|@ rachelmendleson : Broadbrent joins Mulcair, other candidates on the stage #ndpldr http://t.co/qrY9yq5N|
To my mother, my mom, who with her brothers and sistgers is up north watching us, hello!
And the speech begins.
|@ althiaraj : Thomas Mulcair leaves bleechers to come give his speech to #ndpldr candidates http://t.co/8MiiVF0M|
It's no secret Thomas Mulcair has some unifying to do. Expect to hear much about this in the speech, which will happen momentarily
(CP) Montreal MP Thomas Mulcair has been chosen to succeed Jack Layton as leader of the federal NDP.
Mulcair claimed 57.2 per cent of the vote in a fourth-ballot victory over chief rival Brian Topp, who claimed 42.8 per cent.
The two front-runners were the last men standing after a day-long voting marathon that was plagued by online delays, the result of an attempted cyber-attack on the party's website.
Long-shot candidate Nathan Cullen persisted until the third ballot, outlasting rivals Peggy Nash, Paul Dewar, Niki Ashton and Martin Singh.
Nycole Turmel as well in an apparent show of NDP solidarity