Mr. Layton goes to Washington — to support Obama on health care

Here's an interesting item from The Washington Times, notable not only because we have a Canadian politician trying to lend a hand to the world's most popular politician but also, I think, because the Times' correspondent here seems to be working under the impression that the U.S. Democrats are close cousins of Canada's “New Democrats.” Canadian readers, of course, will know that the U.S. Democratic Party is probably somewhere between the Canadian Conservative and Liberal parties if you looked at a policy-by-policy basis and may, in fact, be to the right of the Canadian Conservative Party. (On health care, alone, Canadian Conservatives, because they support the Canadian system of universal single-payer health care would put them to the left of the Democrats).

For non-Canadian readers of this blog, Canada's New Democrats have a history of arriving at policy positions from the left side of the political spectrum and are traditional more left than the federal Liberals.

I'm not sure where Canadian New Democrats would fit in the U.S. political spectrum but something tells me they've probably not got anything like Jack Layton and Olivia Chow!

Canadian Democrats supportive of their country’s universal health care program are soliciting donations to send their leader to Washington to meet with “Obama Democrats” to strategize about implementing a similar system.

A fundraising appeal mailed to supporters from Anne McGrath, president of Canada’s New Democrats, says: “There’s a battle over universal health care happening in the United States — and your New Democrats are a part of it. I hope you will lend your support.”

An image of an economy-class plane ticket from Ottawa to Washington for New Democrat Leader Jack Layton, who is running to become Prime Minister, accompanies the mailer. In the bottom left corner it says: “SUPPORT OBAMA’S FIGHT FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. PROTECT MEDICARE BACK IN CANADA.”

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