No surprise that the NDP would breeze into Jack Layton’s old seat, but the Conservative result barely cracking 5 percent was a bit… well, hilarious. So much for two-time loser Andrew Keyes – “a recognized leader in the communications industry.” Who knows, maybe there will be a Senate seat or plum appointment in his future as reward for all his sacrificial efforts to the cause…

Rex Murphy on Jack Layton

Rex Murphy shares his reflections about Jack Layton’s exceptional performance in the last election campaign: “He was a cane-wielding, one-man wonder of grace and cheerfulness.”

Such a cruel irony…

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.

Liberal Tourism

Try to contain your excitement… Iggy’s launching yet another one of his dreadfully awkward, barely noticeable “Talking to Canadians” tours of the electoral hinterland! This time with his shadow Labour Critic Maria Minna and a clutch of other Liberal MPs you’ve probably never heard of in tow. Together, they’ll be “criss-crossing the country” ahead of a possible election, attempting to stoke the resentment of “working families” while pandering to them with lofty but fiscally impossible schemes addressing the problems of childcare, tuition fees and youth unemployment.

Hang on. Isn’t this sort of bunkum Jack Layton’s job?

The Wrath of Bow!

Okay, “wrath” may not be the best word to describe James Bow’s public scolding of NDP leader Jack Layton, but given that writer’s notoriously temperate disposition and widely esteemed rank as the “dean” of Canadian political blogs (for good or bad, comparisons to David Broder may not be entirely misplaced here), it might be fair to describe Bow’s rather exceptional departure from his more usual equanimity and objective analysis into the realm of advocacy (or let’s say overt chiding if that’s preferable), as a somewhat significant event.

As of this moment, any possibility that I will be voting New Democrat in this coming election is lost. I had little patience for Harper when he promised to deliver better, more accountable, more democratic government for Canadians and failed. I have no patience for your platitudes either, sir.

Ouch! I won’t presume to read my own impressions into what James wrote, but “platitudes” is most definitely a word that comes to mind when regarding the vacuous blather espoused by Jack Layton.

Jumpin’ Jack Obama!

So, Jack Layton is going to try and hitch his orange wagon to the campaign of Barack Obama by stealing his thematic “vision of hope” and making it the centerpiece of the NDP’s efforts to displace the Liberals as the official opposition, is he? Well, this should be très amusant, I’m sure.

On CTV’s Canada AM morning show today Layton’s phoniness was pointed out when he made a great show of peeling off his jacket at an Obama-ish “town hall” meeting, apparently due to the heat in the room, but it was noted that his shirt sleeves had already been rolled up in advance. Tsk, tsk… such transparent copycatting.

But more seriously, Layton claims that the Democrats’ environmental policy is “identical” to that of the NDP. Maybe that’s true, but I suspect that may not be something to be all that proud of. We’ll be checking into it…