(hat tip to Kady O’Malley, who notes with sarcasm the gallery’s obsession de jour with Giorno).
Within the too-thin ranks of Canadian thinkers, Michael Byers is a powerhouse – having unleashed a barrage of criticism on the Harper Conservatives by combining sharp intellect, recognized expertise on foreign policy as well as an appeal that has made him a frequent commentator on TV and print. Particularly at a time when the Harperites are floundering badly on foreign affairs, having Byers on the team is a huge boost for Layton’s critique.
Incidentally, the Byers announcement will also come as a blow to Stephane Dion. Not because Byers will be seeking the Vancouver Centre seat held by parliamentary underperformer and defective burning crosses detector Hedy Fry. And not because Liberals have been courting Byers with all the awkward deliberateness of the geeky kid in a John Hughes flick (note the Scott Brison joint in a recent National Post).
No, the hit to Dion came with Byers’ announcement that he’s joined the NDP becasue he disagrees with Dion’s targetless carbon tax:
"I’ve studied the various federal party policies on climate change. The NDP policy makes the most sense. And it respects individual citizens. The Liberals want to force Canadians to change their behaviour through taxes; the NDP wants to help Canadians to change with solutions."
Byers in short: if you don’t like Harper’s policies, and don’t think Dion should punish people who are already doing their part for the environment, your answer is the NDP.
Photo courtesy of UBC.