John Gilbert ‘Jack’ Layton, (07/18/1950 – 08/22/2011) R.I.P.

Jack Layton - 2011

I’ve been an NDP voter for as long as I’ve had the vote. I’ve known that the principles on which they have stood were the most important principles that have kept me alive in this country. Newer, more independent-minded parties have come along to take up the torch for important issues that the NDP have had to loosen their grip on in recent years, as they’ve moved closer to the center (without ever becoming like the Liberal or Conservative parties) and thus, closer to the action.

The thing we lacked, in the time since I became eligible to vote, was a stand-out leader. We’ve had some really good people in the job, but they simply didn’t inspire enough hope or confidence in the Canadian public. Too many well-meaning women and men who were determined to help the country, but simply didn’t give off the same winning vibe that the leaders of the major parties did.

And then along came Jack.

For the first time in decades, we had a real leader, and with him, a real chance to set things right and do away with all of the harmful, toxic legislation our current ‘Prime Minister’, Stephen Harper, has foisted upon us. Jack Layton was my man for the job. He WAS my Prime Minister. I was sure that in a couple of years, we’d get him into office and start healing our country. I was sure of it.

Sadly, the most successful New Democratic Party leader in the history of the party was struck down by cancer. They haven’t even told us what kind, but really, it’s none of our business, and anyway, who cares what flavour of death you get? They all taste like ass.

There are few Canadian politicians I have ever believed had as much integrity and determination, and of that small few, I somehow doubt any of them will set the country on fire the way Jack did. I can’t even begin to tell you how sad and scared this makes me.

Rest in Peace, Jack. I hope for all our sakes that one of the women and men you brought with you to Ottawa are able to take up your mantle, because we desperately need it.


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