This is a little belated, but I wanted to make sure that I knew exactly what I wanted to say before I wrote it.
As some of you may have heard, one of Canada’s political leaders, Jack Layton of the NDP (New Democratic Party) passed away on Monday morning.
Normally, Canadians aren’t affected that greatly by the death of a politician. This however was different.
No matter what your political views were or whether or not you agreed with Layton’s platform, I believe the majority of Canadians would agree that he was one of the greatest leaders to ever grace our government. Through everything he did, the way he carried himself, and the campaigns he ran, it was clear that Jack cared more about Canada than he did about his own personal gain.
When the other parties were taking the lowest of low roads, Layton, for the most part, took the higher road. He treated his opponents with respect and dignity while strengthening his viewpoints to Canadians about what he would do if put in power.
There are many reasons behind why Layton never became our Prime Minister, the largest of which being how often the NDP have screwed up in the past. I’d like to believe that if he had succeeded in winning our votes, Layton would have not only lived up to the expectations he asked to be placed on him, but that he would have exceeded them as well. While I could never bring myself to cast that vote due to the past, I always hoped that they would have become the official opposition, putting Layton in a position to live up to what he has promised without being in a spot where he could royally screw Canadians over.
Whereas our Prime Minister gives off the vibe of slimey and manipulative, Layton always projected honesty and trustworthiness. I like to believe that everything he projected was true.
As I said earlier, no matter what a Canadian’s political views or standpoint, you will find it very difficult to locate a Canadian who did not respect and admire Layton. The evidence is clear from how hard his death hit Canadians.
For me personally, it was hard hitting because Layton was my final hope within our politicians. I can only pray and hope that what he stood for, the mission that he started will burn in the hearts of Canadians and change the political spectrum in Canada. Because, let’s face it. When it comes to our government, there’s a lot of room for improvement.
Farewell, Jack. May your dreams live on forever, and may none of us forget everything you stood for. You will be missed.
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
– Jack Layton, August 2011