Friday, March 22, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Friday, March 22, 2013

Wynne urges Liberals to reject ‘vicious’ partisan politics

It was an unusual forum for an appeal against partisan politics.
Premier Kathleen Wynne used the Liberals’ biggest fundraiser of the year Wednesday night to warn against the “threat of a toxic political environment.”

To that end, she pointedly avoided any attacks against Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak or NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in her first major political speech since the Jan. 26 Liberal leadership convention.

“We have to smile. We have to listen. We have to be gracious even when we’re blunt about our opinions and honest in our assessment of the situation,” the premier said.

“We do not have to be vicious or mean or willfully partisan. Politics is not a game. It’s about our lives.” Alluding to the Liberals’ problems over the cancelled Mississauga and Oakville gas-fired power plants, Wynne pledged to “continue to smile . . . whether I’m at a London coffee shop or a fancy dinner in Toronto, whether we’re talking about gas plants or promoting local food, whether I’m talking to someone named Tim, or Andrea, or Alice.”

Conceding her penchant for overusing the term “conversation,” the former mediator stressed it’s “not some superficial political branding exercise.”

“I really believe that the best way to solve problems and to generate new ideas is to bring people together, to sit down with them and ask about their experiences and their perspectives.” (Source: Toronto Star)