Jack Layton, RIP

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    This is all true. Everyone I know here is saddened to see him go, including the side of our family that are die hard Conservatives. The country is in mourning.Report

  2. It still tears me up to read those words. There is something ineffably poignant about the fact that he wrote them two days before his death. Staring the end squarely down, there was little to gain and little to lose. It was all fading into an inevitable darkness. And that’s what Jack decided to say before he left.

    It remains unclear what this event will mean to the country’s politics and the country as a whole. But I am increasingly convinced that this was a real moment for us as a nation. I think that a whole segment and, indeed, perhaps a generation of Canadians now have a symbol around which to rally their political lives.

    I’m sentimental about all of this, I admit. I cried sporadically throughout all of Monday. But I think that Jack, even in his leaving us, managed to provide us with his most substantial contribution. And I’m getting the inkling that we might be gathering the courage to live up to it.Report

  3. Canada’s most recent election was the first I’d followed with some persistence and real interest. Layton was a pretty immediately likable man. Reading his final letter on Monday was much more difficult for me, emotionally, than I’d expected it to be. Too sad.Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    Very moving indeed. My bitterness at the ruin he visited on the Liberals (tho they mostly did it to themselves) is utterly negated by my love of the tribulations he poured out about the Bloq leaving me free to admire Layton for the fine fellow he is. Truely a sad loss. My beloved hippie NDP Mother is inconsolable.Report

  5. Avatar Katherine says:

    I’m going to miss him terribly. I didn’t really internalize that he was dead until watching the funeral today. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Being dead is just so unlike him.

    Until several months ago, he was treated by all the media and all the political commentators as a joke. I don’t think anyone can name someone else in Canadian politics who’s had his role and people’s views of him change so rapidly and drastically.

    The funeral is very touching and (especially with regards to Stephen Lewis’ eulogy) very political. While some might complain about that, I think it’s right. Politics was Jack’s life. Defending his beliefs at his funeral is quite possibly that most respectful thing that could be done.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    as they fought back-to-work legislation

    Sorry, not familiar with that term.Report

    • Avatar Katherine says:

      My irony meter is broken, so if that was meant facetiously, apologies in advance for the unnecessary comment. When public sector workers in Canada go on strike, the government can pass legislation to order them back to work, making it illegal for them to continue to strike. This is a common method for dealing with strikes (it was used to break a teachers’ strike in BC a couple years back). It basically cripples unions, because the government knows they don’t have to negotiate if there’s a strike – they can just legislate them back to work.Report

    • Avatar Jonathan says:

      There was a rotating strike at Canada Post and then Canada Post locked the workers out. The Conservative government brought in legislation that would end both the lockout and the strike (thus forcing people “back to work”). This would be more of a hit to the union than Canada Post.

      The NDP is historically tied to the labour movement, and tends to be the party most likely to fight this sort of legislation. In this situation, the Conservatives had a majority (and, I think, the Liberals supported the legislation, anyway), so there was no way that the NDP could defeat the legislation. Their only recourse was a filibuster, and they were able to delay the passing of the bill for a few days/week.Report