Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Reaching out

Not surprisingly, Diane Francis' blog post about receiving a request for input from Jack Layton includes at least a couple of predictable shots. But it's worth noting that even Francis seems to have come away impressed at Layton's willingness to seek out a wide range of ideas, particularly compared to Stephen Harper's deliberate decision to listen to nobody:
(W)e talked about the mess made in Ottawa by Prime Minister Stephen Harper (with 38% electoral support) who made an unnecessary, mean-spirited attack against the opposition parties, leading to a coalition to try and unseat the Tories.

Why I asked?

Harper decided he didn’t have to listen to opposition parties because he assumed we were weak, said Layton. “Instead of focusing on the economy he focused on destroying the opposition. He should have done what Bill Davis used to do and said give us your best ideas, publicly and privately, and take one of those ideas from each of the parties,” he said...

It’s interesting to note that Layton called me out of the blue before all this Tory nonsense erupted into a crisis because he wanted to tap into ideas from political across the political spectrum. Like Bill Davis used to do.

“I’ve been calling people around the country. You and I haven’t always agreed, but I want to get advice from everyone as to what levers of state should be used, which shouldn’t and what should policies look like?” he said...

He asked about regulation and the financial chaos and I said I supported global governance because there was a vacuum which led to the meltdown.

Layton listened and we debated some issues unlike, apparently, (sic) Stephen Harper has ever been willing to do with those outside his party.
Now, it's downright embarrassing that Francis could take a story about Layton's willingness to listen and tag it with a title about "Chairman Jack". And that may signal that there's a long way to go for Layton to dispel even the most outrageous myths about the NDP.

But it's certainly for the best that Layton is proving himself to be the national leader most willing and eager to look for the best solutions to Canada's economic difficulties - regardless of where an idea may come from. And the more people he gets a chance to reach out to, the easier time he and the NDP should have in responsibly exercising the power they're able to secure.

No comments:

Post a Comment