Considered to be among the front-runners in the Liberal leadership race, Rae said he disagreed with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's writings during his time with the National Citizens Coalition about creating an economic or legislative "firewall" around Alberta.
"We should not be a country of firewalls and silos and water-tight compartments. We should be a country which is generous and recognizes the need for co-operation and integration and people working together."
Rae shows great political instinct in addressing the minefield that is Alberta’s oil and gas revenues. This is a great line:
”The job of the federal government, as I see it, is not to cut down the tall flowers," said Rae, who is the former NDP premier of Ontario.
"The job of the federal government is to make sure everyone understands that if something works to Alberta's advantage, it's not a zero sum game. It doesn't mean somebody else has been disadvantaged."
Don’t punish a province for its success, but remember the mosaic. Rae’s views on federalism might be his key asset as we move forward. I make the assumption that Rae has credibility with Quebecer’s, given his past stances. If Rae can show some understanding of western concerns, he may be able to craft a coherent vision that has sadly been lacking in our past leaders.
In my mind, the greatest danger of a long Harper reign is his narrow view of federalism. It is imperative that the Liberals have someone in place that has a good sense of how to keep the federation together, in a strong and meaningful way. With Rae, I don’t think anyone can question his ability to articulate a detailed view of how Canada should work. We need a Prime Minister with a philosophical flare, that can look beyond the immediate gratifications. I still think Rae has some hurdles to overcome, but I can’t help but be intrigued by his statesmanship. One of the great things about a leadership campaign, no matter who wins, the eventual winner has a great pool of ideas from which to draw as the party moves forward.