Saturday, December 06, 2008

Collaborative efforts

There was never much danger of the Cons making any real attempt to work with anybody outside their party in Parliament. But today we get another indication of just how far they're going out of their way to avoid cooperating.

The two independent MPs who sent out an invitation to all party leaders are likely the most Con-friendly members of the House of Commons in Parliament outside of Harper's caucus: Andre Arthur is sufficiently popular with the Cons that they chose not to run a candidate against him, and Bill Casey is of course as a former member of their caucus. Yet Harper couldn't even be bothered to respond to a meeting proposed by those two MPs - offering yet another indication that the opposition parties can't expect anything even remotely resembling a good-faith effort either.

Meanwhile, there's exactly one leader who did show real interest in response to Casey and Arthur's proposal to get Canada's federal parties working together:
A spokesman for Jack Layton said the New Democrat leader would attend such a meeting.

"The leader of the NDP is always willing to meet the other leaders," said Karl Belanger. "It has been his practice."
Of course, the opposition parties need to be about Harper's motives - and Layton is surely as much so as any opposition member.

But particularly in looking to sell the message that opposition cooperation is exactly what Canada needs, it can't hurt to keep putting the message about collaborative efforts into practice - especially when contrasted against Harper's continued refusal to work with anybody. And if Arthur and Casey can be added to the voices pointing out the problem with the Cons' aversion to any meaningful discussion, that can only help in persuading the public that a coalition now and a reduced Con contingent in the House of Commons later make for the best solutions.

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