A press release came in this afternoon saying that NDP leader Jack Layton is spending three days at the Democratic National Convention in Denver to talk to the Dems’ labour caucus, among others, and see if he can shake some important hands. Now, the NDP’s electoral standing in Canada isn’t exactly on par with the U.S. Democrats, and Layton isn’t pulling Obama-level numbers himself (we’ve been over that already). However, Obama and Layton share one thing, which is that the United Steelworkers of America endorsed them both at its annual convention in Las Vegas in July. The Steelworkers’ position is: Obama for President, Layton for Prime Minister.
I talked with Layton’s press secretary this afternoon, who explained just what Layton is hoping to get from his Denver trip. His comments are after the jump:
“Mr. Layton has an interest in finding out more about the campaign. It’s had quite a lot of attention here in Canada and we do share a lot of the same values and messaging [of] hope for working families here in Canada.
Back when Naftagate happened, We wrote to Senator Obama and Senator Clinton calling on them to stand together with us in order to favour reopening of Nafta. That’s the kind of dialogue that we hope to keep going with the Democrats.”
I’ll update this post if I hear back from the Liberals and Conservatives. Do they have operatives in Denver, officially or un-? Or are they too busy playing electoral chicken?
UPDATE: The Conservatives tell me they have four people working the floor at the DNC. Director of Communications Ryan Sparrow says they have no specific aim, just that “Canada-U.S. relations are always important.”