I am still receiving the wave of congratulatory messages. Some may seem surprising -- the Ambassador from Libya beat the rest of the diplomatic corps to the punch, and then there was a warm, friendly note from Tom d'Aquino at the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, another from the head of the Forest Products Association. These are people I have actually worked with for years.
The home phone messages from prominent politicians came flooding in on Convention weekend (Paul Martin, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton, Martha Hall Findlay, Stephen Owen, Geoff Regan, Paul Dewar...). Although the daily number of fun messages on my home machine is now dropping off, I did get a belated and warm message yesterday from Peter MacKay, whom I have known forever. When I was on my hunger strike to protect families living next to the Sydney Tar Ponds, he was particularly solicitous. One memorable morning, he came running out (literally) of Center Block, with his cell phone outstretched to have me speak with Nova Scotia's Premier, John Hamm.
Yesterday's call from the Prime Minister may be a Green Party first. Stephen Harper very graciously extended his congratulations. We discussed the voting method for our leadership convention which he approved as very democratic. Conversation moved to proportional representation, Senate reform and (of course) climate change. It could not have been a much nicer or more friendly chat.
This morning I heard from a woman I really admire, Laurel Broten, Ontario's Minister of Environment. She is the only member of a provincial Cabinet ever to give birth to twins while in cabinet! And not miss a beat. The boys are now 11 months old. Although I am enraged by Premier McGuinty's decision to go for new nuclear reactors, I remain fond of Laurel Broten and grateful that, at least, the Ontario government remains strong on Kyoto.
I suppose as a leader of a federal political party, I may be expected to stop liking people in other parties. I do not intend to. In fact, I plan to work quite hard at keeping those relationships. What Canadian politics needs is not more partisanship; it is more cooperation.