Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Jack Layton

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.


Lisa May said...

No country can spare good, dedicated statesmen and -women (so different from politicians) - they're rare enough as it is.

Ruth Barrett said...

I'm right with you in wishing him a full recovery. He is a rare man, and we need statesmen with his kind of integrity.

Susan Fish said...

Louise - Your posting is very kind and I agree wholeheartedly with it. Good health, Jack!

Dominic Mtl said...

A very nice post Louise. I've been thinking about Jack too and I send him lots of good vibes.

Michelle said...

I also agree with you Louise. I would have loved to have Jack Layton as our leader even though I am not even close to being an NDP supporter. I was shocked to see pictures of him at his press conference announcing he was battling cancer again. I really hope he beats this again and that he returns to politics soon.

On another note... can't wait for the new book to come out!!

Barbara said...

How sad that he can't continue in his gov't. position for now. I do hope he beats it again.

In the U.S. the number of people who are rigid in their beliefs has grown fast, led of course by their representatives in the gov't. I so wish we could return to the days when most of us were a mix of beliefs, when compromise was possible, and when the opposition party members could support the elected politicians.

lil Gluckstern said...

I hope Mr. Layton gets better. He sounds like a principled man and Canada deserves that. I wish I felt as proud of our leaders here in the United States; they seem to be having trouble recognizing that "my way or the Highway" does not a good country make. I agree with you, Louise, be well, all of you.

Reine said...

I'd like to echo what Lil said. I feel the same way.

Colombine said...

Très beau texte Louise!

On se demande quelquefois, pourquoi les meilleurs personnes partent avant certaines autres...

C'est un homme digne de mention. Il a semé un beau "doute" d'une vie beaucoup plus équilibrée... à nous d'y sauter. C'est certain qu'un peu de rigueur est nécessaire quand même.

Bon week-end à tous!

Anonymous said...

You have a large heart,Louise.Recognising Mr.Laytons decency and love of his country , despite politics is so special. Like you I am conflicted when it comes to politics. It's heartening to meet people who are able to recognise goodness, and separate the man from the beliefs. We need Mr. Layton and others like him, whatever their political affiliations. We wish him well.