Saturday, 27 August 2011
Jack Layton (1950-2011)
To my eyes, Jack was the finest politician of his generation; a man who had wide appeal that transcended political lines. He was undoubtedly pragmatic, yet he was unwilling to compromise his core values. He was a voice for many Canadians who, without his presence on the political landscape, would have been wholly disenfranchised.
As the leader of the NDP, Jack was nothing less than a dynamo. He took a second-tier party and made it a unified force to be reckoned with. Under his leadership, the political landscape in Canada has been fundamentally shifted. Thanks to him, the left has a real voice in Parliament.
Jack Layton made a mark on me as well. Though I never met him personally, I have heard his words. His message was inspiring, but it was also challenging. Jack called on all Canadians to excel, to fight for change. In a world where politics tend toward the critical, Jack's words were uncommonly hopeful and aspirational. He was a great individual: honourable, compelling, charming and brilliant.