Isn't it about time for a high-profile, extensive, meeting between Stephane Dion and Jack Layton? The NDP has had several consultations with the Conservatives on the Clean Air Act, but we never seem to hear anything regarding the opposition leaders developing an understanding. All I have heard from Layton, he has spoke with Mr. Dion, but there was no sense of any substantive talks.
If everyone is completely pure in this process, wanting to craft effective environmental legislation, than a united opposition that projects a common front would seem to be the best path. Dion and Layton are both genuine in their environmental concerns, so it would seem natural that the two could come to a mutually beneficial position. As I read the leaders perspectives, it would seem there is much to agree on.
The whole debate over the Clean Air Act will largely come down to leverage. It is imperative that the opposition work together to put maximium political pressure on Harper. A united opposition, doesn't allow Harper the power to negotiate, he will be faced with a yes or no proposition. Layton has argued that parliament "must work together", so why not overtly court the Liberals to act in unison?
If you want to move beyond the ethical consideration, such an alliance would also have political benefit. I think Canadians would respond positively to news reports of two leaders working together on such an important issue. It would show a principle beyond partisanship, something which Canadians rarely see. Both parties could be far effective if they operated as one, as opposed to the parallel paths we see today. The last thing Harper wants to see, the NDP and Liberal Party working together, with the real foe exposed.