Nathan Cullen on Technology and Politics (AUDIO)

Jul 10, 2018 | Experience, Issue 3

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen talks to constituents in his home of Smithers, B.C. Photo by Adrian Forsyth/Airless Photography

Interview by Rick Budhwa

 

It’s hard to talk about relationships without talking about social media and the profound influence it is having on the way we connect.

So perhaps it’s not surprising that when we invited our local Member of Parliament into the Culturally Modified office to talk about a government’s relationship to its people, the conversation revolved around technology and the role of new media as “gatekeeper” in what information is relayed to the public about our leaders.

Publisher Rick Budhwa also chatted with Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen about bumping into Bono in the House of Commons, why his Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding keeps him grounded, how good people become bad politicians and the difference between representing someone and speaking on their behalf.

But one thing dominated the conversation: how technology is changing the way we relate to our elected officials—and how little we know about the long-term effects of social media on democracy.

“We’re running a living experiment right now. We’ve fundamentally changed the way that we talk to each other and we actually don’t know what those results are going to be,” Cullen says.

(17 minutes)

Rick Budhwa is an applied anthropologist who has worked within the realm of Indigenous cultural resources for nearly 25 years. Rick attended the University of Western Ontario where he received his BA in anthropology. Later, he completed a post-baccalaureate diploma in archaeology and master’s degree in anthropology/First Nations studies/archaeology at Simon Fraser University. He currently teaches at Northwest Community College and is the principal Crossroads Cultural Resource Management. Rick has been formally adopted into the Gitdumden Clan of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in the traditional territories where he lives with his wife and two boys.

Rick Budhwa