Monday, August 22, 2011

Jack Layton RIP

'Smilin' Jack'-A well-deserved nickname of affection
I wasn't one of those who voted for Jack Layton and I certainly didn't share his ideals and policies.

But many, many Canadians did.

The success of the Ndp in the last federal election can be squarely attributed to his tremendous popularity and personal charisma, especially in Quebec, where almost everyone voting for the Ndp, voted for Jack and not the local candidate or even the party platform.

Not since Pierre Elliott Trudeau did a Canadian politician capture the hearts and minds of so many Canadians, transcending politics and party affiliation.

It's somewhat two-faced to praise someone in death who you didn't like or support in real life, but  I can say with honesty that I felt remorse at the passing of someone who meant so much to so many people.

If Moammar Khadafy or Bashar al-Assad dropped dead tomorrow of a heart attack I would probably raise a glass in celebration.
But even though I disliked Jack's politics and that of the Ndp, I cannot help but feeling badly for his family and for the loss that so many Canadians feel.

The Ndp has been blessed with worthy and principled leaders, more than any other federal party. Although in my estimation Jack Layton doesn't hold a candle to Tommy Douglas, Ed Broadbent, or David Lewis, he did deliver what all of them could not -opposition status.
That was no mean feat, attributed to one thing and one thing alone- the popularity and the connection that Jack made with so many Canadians.
For that, Jack should go down in  history as one of the most beloved politicians in Canadian history, much as it pains me to say so.

He was a card, a bullshitter, a button pusher, a politician extraordinaire, but he inspired people to believe in something better.
How many Canadian politicians can say the same?

Our Parliamentary democracy functions best when there is a strong, vibrant opposition, one that presents an alternate view of the universe and attacks the government over base principles.
In it's brief tenure in the last Parliament, the Ndp put up a feisty defence of the Post Office back-to-work legislation, that set a tone for what was to come over the next years of a majority government.
I was truly looking forward to years of strident and effective opposition. Without Jack, the Ndp is diminished and so too, effective opposition.

His loss will be felt by all of us who support democracy.

Heaven help us if Thomas Mulcair wrests the laurel of power from the Ndp.
He is everything that Jack was not- cynical, cruel, phony and a shameless self-promoter.

You don't have to be a supporter to acknowledge the contribution that Jack made to the Canadian political scene.
His  tragic passing, in the prime of his political life is cruelly unfair on a personal level and reminds us all to live in the moment.

Jack Layton - July 18, 1950 - August 22, 2011, RIP


  1. I vote for Jack Layton in the last federal elections. I was among those who had give a good kick in the butt of Gilles Duceppe. Jack Layton may had died, but my generation will remember him as a leader willing to incorporate Quebec in an united Canada. His mission was impossible, but he accomplished it. Now that Jack Layton is gone, now is the time to call for a pure ideal federalist, time for the Canadian nation to call it quit on Quebec province and leave behind the cheaters, the separatists little people, the unfaithfull so call Canadians of the type of ultra cheater - like Brian Mulroney who cash in 300k in the Boeing scandal - and Nycole Turmel, now interim NPD leader even after belonging to the Bloc quebecois, just to name 2 glorious Quebec shit. There will be revenge for Canadians. It's now just a matter of time. Quebec integration of the Canadian nation is DONE and OVER.

  2. Nice new template by the way. You now only missing some Google adds

  3. I think it is rather inevitable that Mulcair will move to Stornoway. Today Quebec is NDP's bread and butter and Mulcair is the only veteran MP from Quebec. As well, he is the Deputy Leader of the NDP as well as the Opposition House Leader.

    My speculation is that with the passing of Layton, the NDP will divided between the federalists and the separatists. It does not necessarily mean that the NDP will promote Quebec independence. However, some within the party will push for measures that is only applicable for Quebec or completely for the benefit of Quebec. The other part of the party still think that as a national party the NDP should see matters on national level, regardless of provincial boundaries.

  4. Layton was no different from Mulcair... Maybe just a tad bit more likeable.

  5. Haïti chérie dit: Reposez en paix Monsieur Layton ! C'était un démocrate, il s'était engagé à respecter le choix démocratique du Québec de devenir un État indépendant ! Pas beaucoup de politiciens fédéraux n'ont tenus de tels propos malgré le fait qu'ils se drapaient dans de grands principes démocratiques. De plus, s'est la sortie de Tommy Douglas contre l'application de la Loi sur les mesures de guerre en octobre 1970 qui l'avait convaincu de son allégeance au NPD !

  6. Not 2-faced whatsoever, Ed.. If one is able to separate the man from the politician (ex. Falardeau could not) then eulogies can be offered without effort. If Layton the man was a miserable SOB then that would have brought about much less tributes. Thankfully he wasn't.
    Happy Trails, Jack!

  7. And the blame game begins.

    Just like what our dear Editor predicted, the late Mr. Layton's knowledge of his illness during the campaign IS a problem. While we need to take his opinion with a block (not merely a grain) of salt since he is one of the nutcases in, now Jacques Noël writes that the NDP's victory is a "stolen election", just like the "stolen referendum".

    His argument is, of course, should Mr. Layton have disclosed his state of health then, nobody would have voted for the NDP.

  8. PS: I wrote that Jacques Noël was a nutcase, and with a good reason. He also suggested that one put a black X on the Queen's face on the $20 bill. I personally hope that the defaced bills are then deemed invalid.

  9. @Troy:

    I love these redneck extremists :D They are so fascinating, and at the same time, it's interesting how they're actually accepted in this province.

    It's kind of sad though, the general acceptance of racism (Falardeau, Parizeau, RIN, ...) means that their propaganda easily spreads to new generations. - At least younger people have more education and culture than the "Jean-Guys" of the 50s, and are often able to decide for themselves.

  10. Spin, spin, and more spin. The mainstream media in this country are a bunch of brainless, clueless fools.

    Jack Layton just like Barack Obama was full of shit period. This tax and spend, socialist scum bag had the phoniest smile I have every seen. He was a phony, a bullshitter who fooled people for decades into a nice big fat pay check every year while spewing the same crap for decades. He stood for nothing but himself. He was nothing but a career, professional politician who sucked off the public tit for decades.

    I couldn’t care less about this scum bag that put a new leader, this separatist, anti-English language, pro bill 101 scum bag from Kebec, Nicole Turmel in charge of the NDP while he was dying of cancer. This speaks volumes about what type of person Layton really was.

    So go ahead media, paint him out to be some great guy, some hero…blah, blah, blah. He was not. He was an opportunist, pure scum of the earth who fooled Canadians for decades. So long sucker.

  11. "At least younger people have more education and culture than the "Jean-Guys" of the 50s, and are often able to decide for themselves. "

    We can only hope, but no school in the world teaches kids to think for themselves, especially about the world. On the contrary, most schools in the world drown kids in a swamp of patriotism from early days (in the US, school kids plead allegiance to the flag every day, starting in early grades).

    Quebec is no different. The level of education in the public sector is dreadful, and the teaching staff is full of pequiste sympathizers who fill children's heads with pequiste propaganda.

    The good thing is that the level of immigration is high in Quebec, and that the pure laine birth rate is low and declining. And it's not so easy to bamboozle immigrant kids and fill them with loyalty for Quebec, because these kids go home and get a different kind of story from their parents (or at least an advise not to take this stuff too seriously). The Quebecois kids, on the other hand, get a lot of nonsense at school, and then the same nonsense at home.

  12. I pretty much share the sentiments of the Editor. At one time, I was a closer fit with the social democratic model, but as I go through life, I see its ideals, but realize the costs of the ideology are prohibitive; nevertheless, we must not forget our countrymen and women who are vulnerable and in need of our help. We as a society are responsbible for the weak and vulnerable, and I believe our collective social conscience, compared to our fellow Americans, makes us a better country.

    Be that as it may, I will be sending our prime minister a message shortly about a new law or regulation that the Americans have in place: Health disclosure. In the U.S., anyone declaring and registering for candidacy to run for president must disclose any significant health issues, and under these recent events, I think our leanding politicians should be accountable to the public in similar fashion.

    I cannot imagine that when this whole business leading up to the May election started that Jack Layton did not know his healtn was in peril. That was just five months ago. In all fairness, I don't know if his cancer was of a galloping nature (i.e., accelerating as opposed to advanced), but the timing will always leave doubt unless the truth comes out, and I'm skeptical the truth will come out.

    In any case, this is a policy that should be implemented in the future because, like the Editor, I believe 103 seats were won because of Jack, and based on the cast of characters he has in place currently, they're going to drop like a stone in the next election. Considering the number of "bodies" (shleps and stooges, really) occupying those green chairs in parliament, I'll be shocked if their fall circa 2015 is lesser than their rise in May. I think and I hope Mulcair's face gets slapped much more than once over the next four years. In all fairness to the new bodies, with some luck one or two will turn out to be pretty good politicians.

    The interim shlep of a leader there now reminds me of a school principal in Paterson, NJ named Joe Clark, and unlikely related to our former prime minister in 1979! In the movie Lean on Me, based on Clark's real-life role, the superintendent of schools stated he needed "someone who had nothing to lose and then had to decide what to do with him", i.e., a stooge. Enter Nycole Turmel who has the charisma and qualifcations perfectly fit for the job. The perfect Nicki to go with Larry and Curly! TURMOIL!

    Before long, in all likelihood, we'll have another Mul-something in a leadership role. I think having had one Mul-something in a political leadership role was enough! I also figured one Trudeau in a leadership role was enough, but that will be a future story, to be sure.

    For now, we need new government policies in place to ensure we don't have candidates in ill health running for the leadership.

  13. "His mission was impossible, but he accomplished it."

    L'homme que le Québec a élu,n'est plus.L'équipe restante n'aura qu'une chance,une seule.Je crois qu'ils commencent a réaliser et a sentir le poids de leur mission et comprennent brusquement qu'ils sont dans un drôle de pétrin.

    Leur chef si inspirant est disparu les laissant ainsi démunis devant un Harper majoritaire et féroce prêt a les bouffer tout cru.Il sera sans pitié pour ce parti d'inconnus et inexpérimenté.

    Le NPD n'a encore rien réalisé et leur atout majeur pour le Québec demeure T.Mulcair.

  14. @ Press 9:

    Je serais intéressé à connaître ton opinion, en tant qu'indépendantiste, de Mulcair. Pourquoi (ou comment) est-il un atout pour les québécois, et surtout la minorité d'entre eux qui n'est pas fédéraliste?

    Nous alignons-nous pour revivre la période électoralement curieuse des années 70 où on élisait un PM ultra-fédéraliste fort et centralisateur à Ottawa (74 des 75 sièges du Québec) et un PM indépendantiste fort et décentralisateur à Québec?

  15. " Mulcair. Pourquoi (ou comment) est-il un atout pour les québécois..."

    J'ai mal formulé mon idée.Il est le seul joueur valable (pour l'instant) pour le NPD au Québec.Ses déboires (pensons au dossier du mont Orford) avec les libéraux de Charest lorqu'il était des leurs ont fait bonne impression chez plusieurs Québécois et pas seulement chez les péquistes.

    Il n'a pas le charisme de son défunt chef mais il a l'avantage d'être connu et reconnu et a la réputation d'être un homme d'idées et de convictions.

    A titre d'indépentiste je me méfirai toujours des fédéraux,peu importe la largeur de leur sourire.

    "Nous alignons-nous pour revivre la période électoralement curieuse des années 70 où on élisait un PM ultra-fédéraliste fort et centralisateur à Ottawa (74 des 75 sièges du Québec) et un PM indépendantiste fort et décentralisateur à Québec?"

    Pour être honnête,j'en ai aucune idée.Les élections au Québec,c'est devenu n'importe quoi.
    A Sherbrooke,par exemple,ils ont voté pour le Bloc pendant des années tout en encourageant les libéraux de Charest.Je crois que nous sommes des bicéphales.

  16. Layton like Mulcair was just another Uncle Tom's..... He betrayed his country and anglo-quebec roots to win those 59 seats in Quebec... Mark my words the NDP will never duplicate.... in the end the NDP will be eaten alive by all those TREASONOUS, RACIST, NATIONALIST, SEPARATIST , NAZI wannabees within the party...

  17. Chénier dit à l'Anononyme (jeu de mots) ''23 août , 2011 20:13'' Relaxez-vous, vous épuisez tous les mots de votre vocabulaire limité et paranoïaque... la semaine n'est pas finie ! Vive le Québec indépendant, patriote, multiculturel ! Le NPD est le seul parti en dehors des partis indépendantistes qui comprend les aspirations du Québec !

  18. @Chénier

    Il a oublié le terme "Bigots" quand il a fait son copié-collé.

  19. "At least younger people have more education and culture than the "Jean-Guys" of the 50s, and are often able to decide for themselves."

    "And culture"?

    Quelle culture? La culture libertarienne anglo?La seule vraie culture individualiste et égoiste.

    "...decide for themselves..."

    Ben oui...N'importe quoi.

    Les "Johns" des années 50 se sont-ils ouvert sur les autres cultures?Ont-ils appris le français?
    Une chance que les jeunes anglophones ont L'ESPRIT PLUS OUVERT.Ce n'est pas une question d'éducation.

  20. @adski
    "the pure laine birth rate is low and declining"

    No it's not! I'm sick of this being said all the time while the reality is quite the opposite, see for yourself, straight from Statistics Canada so you can't say it's not a credible source:

    It's higher than Ontario's birth rate despite having a smaller percentage of immigrants (so you can't say it's because the immigrant minority are having more babies). It's higher than the Canadian average. It has been called a "mini-baby-boom" in the French media.

    If you read French, check this out, births by mother tongue (and Muslim immigrants even when they speak French don't declare that as their mother tongue so they are in the Autre category because they speak Arabic natively):
    It's from the Québec government.
    So before anyone says it's because of immigrants, consider that it's higher in the regions, where there are few immigrants as could be seen on the latest census.
    By region:
    See Indice synthétique de fécondité on the right, Montréal is one of the regions with the lowest rate!

    You will never conquer Québec. Even in the unlikely event that immigrants would invade the province, they wouldn't be pro-English because the few that do settle outside of Montréal learn or already know French and aren't anglophiles such as South Asians (who are nowhere to be found where English isn't spoken). Even if we never get independence, this province will always have a Francophone majority unless you can fit more than six million anglicized immigrants on the islands of Montréal and Laval and even then most of the territory (where 3/4 of the population lives) would still be virtually totally English-free. We will never assimilate because most of us don't even live around English-speaking people. This is not Louisiana. No such thing will ever happen here because of the lack of anglos. We have been here for centuries, way before you children of immigrants, and we are not going away. Deal with it.

  21. Anonymous 3:10

    Wow!Je crois qu'adski vient d'en prendre plein la gueule.Merci de lui fermer le clapet.Je crois qu'il n'est même pas conscient des torts qu'ils causerait a sa minorité si nous exposions ses commentaires au public Québécois.Par chance qu'il ne représente que son petit club de rébarbatifs d'anglos frustrés...Le C.R.A.F :-)

  22. "And it's not so easy to bamboozle immigrant kids and fill them with loyalty for Quebec"

    Heureusement,ceux qui choisissent l'alternative d'endoctrinement canadienne,comprennent rapidement qu'ils n'ont pas été parachutés dans une province adéquate.

  23. @ Anon. at 3:10 am:

    "You will never conquer Québec."

    One day the Americans could. They might want your natural resources, or they might tire of having a fascist jurisdiction such as Quebec on their northern border. Then you most certainly will become like Louisiana.

    "We have been here for centuries, way before you children of immigrants, and we are not going away."

    You're all children of immigrants yourselves.

  24. "One day the Americans could."

    Yeah well they could also conquer all of Canada if they really wanted to.

    "Then you most certainly will become like Louisiana."

    But we most certainly will not be invaded by the Americans so for now we are not like Louisiana and time will pass and we will still be nothing like Louisiana. Let's just wait and see. You keep hoping for an invasion that will never come. Even Russia (more aggressive than America) doesn't invade tiny Estonia (which has a higher percentage of Russian speakers than Québec does have anglos). Not many wars in North America since the 19th century in case you didn't notice. Whatever. Time will tell who's right.

    "You're all children of immigrants yourselves."
    There is still a difference between 1st generation and 15th generation just like there is between minority and majority but that was not my point. I should have made myself clearer: if people who came after us have the right to stay, then we have the right too and we will not go away either.

  25. @ Anon. at 8:43 PM,

    "But we most certainly will not be invaded by the Americans...You keep hoping for an invasion that will never come."

    Don't be so sure. In the seventies, former president Jimmy Carter had a secret contingency plan to invade Quebec (and Quebec only) if it attempted to separate from Canada. He was going to send in the National Guard from neighboring states such as Vermont. And Jimmy Carter was not nearly as aggressive as George Bush Jr. Carter even won a Nobel Peace Prize. The Americans may still have a similar invasion plan on file at the Pentagon.

  26. "The Americans may still have a similar invasion plan on file at the Pentagon."

    Les amerlocs ont d'autres problèmes bien plus urgents pour l'instant.1 amarican sur 7 est incapable de payer son hypothèque.De plus ils ne sont même capable de gagner une guerre contre une bande de barbus cachés dans les montagnes de l'Afghanistan.Ils sont en faillite!

  27. @ Anon. at 3:22 PM:

    The Quebecois are very fortunate that they are permitted to keep their houses even when they are on welfare. Otherwise tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of them would be thrown out on the streets. And Quebec is even more heavily indebted (on a per capita basis) than the U.S.A.

    Neither the British Empire at its peak nor the Soviet Red Army were able to defeat the Afghans either; the Taliban are fighting a guerilla war and they have sanctuaries in Pakistan.

    Despite their problems, if the Americans invaded Quebec they would steamroll over the place in a matter of days. Many Quebecois men would probably flee to the woods as they have done in the past (and remain hidden there instead of fighting as guerillas).