So Long, Jack

No one can truly say they were surprised by the news of Jack Layton’s death this morning of cancer after having seen his last public appearance in July announcing that he would temporarily step aside from leadership of the NDP to battle his cruel illness; and yet, strangely enough, word of his passing still manages to come as a sudden shock. It’s almost hard to believe that Layton’s impassioned voice will no longer be heard from, given that it’s been enlivening and energizing political debate in this country for so many years.

As a politician, Jack Layton was something of a force of nature; both as a relentlessly scrappy fighter and as a charismatic charmer. He will certainly be missed, not only by the party to which he had become so closely identified with in recent years, but the millions of working families and ordinary Canadians of lesser means who Layton tirelessly campaigned for.

Update: CBC coverage of Jack’s political life and legacy.

5 Replies to “So Long, Jack”

  1. Mao, Stalin, Jong-Il, Pol Pot, Chavez, Castro and the current Chinese leader would all be proud of who Jack Layton was.

    In a FREE country, he was looked at like the Marxist he was.

    Marxism is a killer ideology. Millions have died.

    R.I.P Jack, your heroes are waiting for you.

  2. Wow!. TJ’s post is a sterling example of why crazy people shouldn’t be allowed internet access.

    First of all the Chinese Communist Party is communist in name only. The minute they stopped being filthy red commies occurred in 1995, when they voted to allow millionaires to join the party (in anticipation of taking control of Hong Kong from the British). Oh, don’t get me wrong, the Chinese government is still highly autocratic; but they are also bigger capitalists than we are. But then capitalism is most effective under autocracies, as democracies tend to get in the way of the corporatist’s neo-liberal dreams.

    Secondly, I will state that I have never, nor will I ever vote NDP in any election. I disagree with too many policies that are the raison d’etre of their party. But to put Layton’s name in the company of some of the most evil, genocidal, lunatics that ever infected this planet? And within 24hrs of his death to boot.

    While you’re researching things, so look up Godwin’s law. I consider applying Stalin’s or Pol Pot’s name in any inference to be the same lunacy as conjuring up Nazis.

    To put it simply so that even you can understand, you’ve proven yourself to be an idiot …and a classless one at that.

    Now fuck off!
    Adults are trying to have a discussion here.

  3. No kidding. It’s beyond ridiculous to equate a social democrat like Jack (or just about any other Dipper, for that matter) with the likes of Stalin, Mao, et. al. I suspect that ol’ psycho “Tom” there was simply trying to spark a reaction. He didn’t really deserve your thoughtfully informative response. Funny (or sad) thing is that there really are loons out there who seem incapable of differentiating between moderate progressive reformers and murderous sociopathic dictators; e.g., Glenn Beck and that ilk.

  4. As a Red (albeit with a few flecks of Tory), I’m not usually fond of “third way” pale-pink social democrats.

    But politics is as much about character as about ideas. As the years went by, my respect for Layton grew. I do mourn his death.

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