Monday, August 22, 2011

Bon Jack

I can't believe Canada lost Jack Layton. He was passionate, he was the sort of man who you really could believe in. I think he was the best chance we had for the sort of Canada I wanted to live in. I voted for his party. I'm a Green at heart, but I was won over to NDP because of Jack.

I mean, this man really cared about social justice. He wanted fairness for people at all levels of the spectrum. He was tireless. I mean, the guy campaigned through cancer and only a month ago said he needed to take a break. How far gone he must have been for it to have taken him so quickly after that announcement.

The man was a politician, but unlike so very many I've seen, he didn't seem like he was in it just for personal glory and prestige. With all the causes he championed, the sort of issues ordinary people needed leaders to care about, I was able to have some faith that Canadian politics would rise to the levels I dreamt of, where people and not corporations, the environment and not special interest groups, evidence and not ideology, progression and not stagnation would have a chance to thrive.

Who will speak for us now? I don't know. Elizabeth May perhaps, who now is considered as unimportant and irrelevant as Jack used to be less than 10 years ago. Like Jack said, optimism is better than despair. I'll choose faith. This country is capable of beautiful things; not glory, but true humanity and thus greatness. We'll get by, and someone will rise to speak on behalf of those who can't buy political leverage and need a voice in parliament.

But today, I grieve. I had no idea how much I was emotionally relying on Jack Layton to weather what I've been seeing as a dark blot in our political history. Today I mourn.

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