I’ve never really been interested in politics until the election this past May, and I’ve never blogged about politics because my knowledge is limited and my position difficult. But given today’s tragedy, I feel I have to give my own humble hommage to a great politician.
Having lived in different places in Canada, I became more aware of the stakes of the election, especially in Québec. Here was an occasion to get away from the getthoization of Québec, to make a difference again the life of Canada as a whole.
Jack Layton’s death this morning came as a shock. It is a sad day for Canada when the man who finally got Québec to get involved in federal politics again dies. I don’t know much about his career, but I know that Jack Layton gave me hope for the future of Canada–and for the place of Québec in it. He showed that we have a place and an important role to play–that of providing the counterpoint and opposition to conservative politics.
I remember most vividly how he battled Gilles Duceppe in the French debate. While Duceppe was aggressive and combative, Layton exuded the confidence and hope that was probably the starting point of the Orange Wave. Layton convinced me (and many of my compatriots in Québec) that we had an option at the federal level, that we didn’t have to stand alone anymore, entrenched in language squabbles.
It’s a sad, sad day for Canada. Layton embodied what it is to be a politician who’s in it for the good of the people. He was the epitome of what it means to be Canadian: positive, courageous and compassionate. Let us keep his legacy alive by remaining hopeful, fighting the politics of fear and intimidation and believing in transparency, honesty and integrity for our political system.
Rest in peace, Jack. You will be sorely missed. As we say back home, “c’t’ait un bon Jack”.