“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 (Final letter to Canadians – Aug. 20, 2011)
I may not have agreed with the man’s politics, but one had to admire the determination and courage of N.D.P. Leader, Jack Layton. Canadian politics will certainly miss Jack’s wit, his infectious smile, and the fact that this man (whether one agreed with him or not) stuck to his guns. This was a man that was always hopeful and optimistic. For years he and his party had been the third wheel in a predominately three-spoked parliament with the Liberals and Conservatives trading places across the floor in leading our government here in Canada. Layton’s party, the N.D.P. seemed to always take a back-seat there in the House of Commons, but smiling Jack was never detoured from speaking up for his constituents and the rights and freedoms of Canadians.
No, I did not agree with Jack’s politics. Many a time I will admit that he got my dander up when he spouted ideas that did not sit well with my conservative viewpoint. However, he always made me think. He had a rapier wit and let’s face it, his smile won over many a Canadian heart. He didn’t back down and continued to beat on the doors of parliament until finally his dream was realized when the NDP was finally elected as the official opposition to the Conservatives, and the Liberal party finally relegated to the back seat of the legislature.
Jack fought a brave and courageous battle not only in politics but personally as he battled cancer. Unfortunately Jack lost that battle today. Canadian politics will not be the same without Jack Layton. Yet, he left a legacy for all Canadians that will continue…one of hope and optimism.