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Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and federal NDP Leader Jack Layton are shonw in a photo combination. (The Canadian Press)
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter and federal NDP Leader Jack Layton are shonw in a photo combination. (The Canadian Press)

Contrasting New Democrats Add to ...

Thursday presented a great example of contrasting New Democrats.

In St. John's, Nova Scotia NDP Premier Darrell Dexter was signing an power deal with Newfoundland that should eventually bring his province a stable supply of clean, renewable energy and in the process lower Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. In Ottawa, federal NDP Leader Jack Layton was emitting more than his normal amount of hot air condemning the federal government for killing a private member's bill that envisioned a return to the miserably failed Kyoto accord.

Darrell Dexter was making real choices that will have enormous economic and environmental benefits. Jack Layton was peddling an unachievable initiative for petty partisan purposes trying to score points as a green crusader.

Darrell Dexter was looking forward and trying to engage in true sustainable development. Jack Layton was turning back to an ineffectual international environmental accord that never included the big polluters.

Darrell Dexter is practical and reasonable, part of the reason he achieved power in Nova Scotia.

While Jack Layton has his strengths and has taken steps to contemporize the NDP, he still comes across as a gimmicky, headline-chasing fourth party leader.

Outcomes versus empty sound and fury. That is the difference between Dexter and Layton. The reason why one leads a government and the other sits firmly in the opposition benches.

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