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Layton broaches idea of political alliance [Sep. 22nd, 2008|08:55 pm]
New Democratic Party of Canada


[Current Location |Chatham, Ontario]
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[music |The Offspring - Want You Bad]


HAMILTON, Ont. -- NDP Leader Jack Layton says he's good at working with other people to solve problems -- and the problem right now is Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

For the first time in this election campaign, Layton has broached the idea of a political alliance to prevent Harper from leading again.

"I've worked with any other party. I think people have seen that. Maybe it goes back to my days on municipal council -- you roll up your sleeves and you try to solve a problem," Layton said in an interview with CTV.

"I think right now the problem we have is Stephen Harper and his Conservatives."

But Layton didn't mention the Liberals, and carefully excluded Liberal Leader Stephane Dion from his campaign speech in Hamilton.

He told a crowd of about 150 supporters their choice was between two different visions of Canada.

"A choice between Stephen Harper's vision and our vision. Stephen Harper or Jack Layton will be in charge at the end of the day," he said.

Layton's answers to reporters later about a possible political alliance were more careful.

"I will work with the Parliament that Canadians propose to deliver on that agenda."

His suggestions come on the same day the Liberal party released its full party platform.

The Liberals say their Green Shift proposal would cost $90 million in lost revenue over four years and the 40 billion raised in new carbon taxes would go back to Canadians in the form of tax breaks.

Layton focused much of his day attacking the Harper government and mostly ignored the Liberals, except to say it was common to see a Liberal government break promises once the party was elected to office.

"What's new about this election is they make a promise and then mid-election they'll say it's no longer their promise," he said referring to the Liberal Green Shift.

"I don't think people can have a lot of confidence in the kind of commitments that we're seeing laid out by the Liberal party."

With a new president coming in the U.S., Layton also said the time was ripe to reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Layton told the crowd he wants to renegotiate NAFTA to save Canadian jobs, to regain more control over Canadian energy resources, and rework the "flawed" dispute resolution process.

He said NAFTA's Chapter 11, which allows foreign investors to challenge Canada's right to make laws, also needs revision.

--The Canadian Press


[User Picture]From: felis_ultharus
2008-09-25 11:58 am (UTC)
"He said NAFTA's Chapter 11, which allows foreign investors to challenge Canada's right to make laws, also needs revision."

"Revision" is one word for it. I'd prefer "casting out into the outer abyss" myself, but that's probably why I'm not his speechwriter.

I'm glad he said the words "chapter 11." I'm already a NDPer, but I've been waiting for a politician -- any politician -- to attack that clause directly.
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[User Picture]From: joshmanicus
2008-09-25 11:56 pm (UTC)
I agree. The thing is that the media went ballastic when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton started talking about cancelling NAFTA so I think it's wise for Jack to be careful with his words.

The only problem with being careful with words is that your message can be interpreted to mean that he either wants to get serious about nafta and basically rewrite it / scrap it, or he just wants to do what Jean Chretien did...

I prefer the former.
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