Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says she's been trying for months to get the NDP to talk about ways the two parties can co-operate on shared priorities, but the party has kept the door firmly closed to her overtures.
She admitted she has been frustrated with Layton's lack of co-operation, and turned to her old friend Lewis to try and open up the lines of communication.
"What the hell is wrong with Jack Layton that he can't answer a phone call?" she said on CTV's Question Period.
"I don't understand this. He talks to Stephen Harper all the time. Surely, our shared values are much closer between the NDP and the Greens."
She said the two parties should have been able to put partisan politics aside and focus on their shared environmental priorities -- such as solving climate change and reaching Kyoto greenhouse emissions targets .
"We're not identical. We're different parties, but surely there's room for a conversation. And that's where I was disappointed," May said.
"Despite months of effort to open the door to any conversation at any level, not specifically Central Nova, not specifically what I could do for him or what he could do for me, but just to open the door -- and the door as far as I'm concerned is still open -- to discuss whether there was some way that despite our first-past-the-post system, leaders who care about their country and are willing to put the planet first can't find some way to communicate."
May also told Question Period co-host Jane Taber she was "sad" the NDP had dragged Lewis into the discussion. She said she would have never said publicly that Lewis was trying to help kick-start discussions.
Months of effort? If anyone suggests that the May/Dion talks where kick-started as a mutual effort to squeeze out the NDP, the above seems to contradict that argument. It would appear, there was ample opportunity for a bi-partisanship effort between the NDP and Greens, but Layton decided that it wasn't in the NDP's best interest. So much for the rhetoric about putting partisanship aside to do good work for Canadians.
May turns to Lewis, because they are friends, and hopefully he can break the partisan posturing. Meanwhile, Dion is receptive, and May moves to find common ground. If the NDP is alone, against the big-bad Liberals and the upstart Greens, it is because the NDP decided to isolate itself, not because of backrooms and unsavoury motivations.
On an issue that Layton claims as his own, he couldn't find the time to hear May out. One thing is now crystal clear, Layton's move to bring the Clean Air Act to committee wasn't a noble gesture, it was a pure political manoeuvre, meant to help the NDP fortunes. I applauded Layton at the time, because it was quite a coup, but the corresponding shun of May's overtures completely undermines his "achievement".
Of all the political parties, there is no WIDER GULF than the policies of the NDP and the Conservatives. On pure principle, no one should want to rid Canada of the Harper Conservatives more than Jack Layon. On principle, any effort to engage and co-ordinate should be endorsed whole-heartedly. On principle, you own it too the environmental movement to find common ground with like-minded individuals. The complete rebuff speaks volumes, and shreds any illusion of moral compass. Where was the harm in talking, I mean really? I agree, what the hell is wrong with Jack Layton.