Tuesday, 26 July 2011
sunny, then stormy, then sunny - one of those days - temps 25
Cool down continues - very nice. Big storms kicked up, though, with huge winds and rain and lightning. then sun came out. I wonder if there's a life lesson....nah.
Like so many Canadians, I was devastated to hear the news that the leader of the New Democratic Party in Canada, Jack Layton, was stepping aside because he has cancer. He held a news conference yesterday, and looked gaunt. It was thoroughly unexpected - though he'd had prostate cancer a year ago. But he intimated this was a whole other cancer - though he wasn't specific.
Mr. Layton led the NDP to an historic position politically, when he won huge gains in the federal election earlier this year - and became Canada's official opposition. He absolutely stole Quebec's heart - and the voters here rewarded his candor and intelligence, his humour and passion, with an unprecedented number of seats.
The NDP is a socialist party - in as much as they believe in social justice, in a social safety net, in accountability. In providing universal and excellent health care and education. Obviously, there is sometimes a gap between the ideal and the reality, but the NDP has rarely lost their belief that it was possible to be strong, assertive, smart, and compassionate. That there's a place for intelligence and kindness in politics. And that the most fortunate looking out for the least fortunate is a social responsibility and not naive.
Canada is such a fascinating country. Our government is Conservative and the official opposition is socialist. I suspect most Canadians are a mix of both...like I am. In some areas I lean toward the conservative. In many, I lean more toward the socialist. Sometimes I think I believe one thing, but when tested in real life I realize I actually believe the opposite. Or, in theory I lean in one direction - in practice I act another way.
We're all complex. Most people are a mish-mash, a tapestry of all sorts of beliefs. Very few people I've met are dogmatic, rigid.
Jack Layton is not a perfect man, and the NDP is not a perfect party - and their vision is not perfect either. But they believe in the best. And now it's time to believe that Mr. Layton will defeat this cancer. If he stood up for us, perhaps we can now stand up for him. Even those who did not vote NDP and never will. This isn't about politics, but about a good and decent man - and
praying for his recovery. Because, what country can't use good men and women?
Be well, Jack Layton. Be well, all of you.