Posts Tagged 'RIP Jack Layton'

Majority of Canadians remember Layton fondly

According to an Angus Reid poll, a majority of Canadians agree with Jack Layton being accorded a State Funeral, and remember him with fondness:

A majority of Canadians (55%) think Layton showed that politicians can have the common touch, and almost half (48%) think he will be lauded for his ability to engage with young Canadians. […]

Four-in-five Canadians (81%) think holding a state funeral for Layton is justified, including a majority of respondents in every region. At least seven-in-ten Canadians who voted for parties other than the NDP in the last federal election believe Layton deserves this honour.

The 81% who agreed with the State Funeral is an interesting number because it surely includes many conservatives, maybe the majority of them.  So take that, Barbara Kay and Christie Blatchford.  You’re a warped bitter and twisted minority even among your own ilk, and maybe even at your own place of employment.

Adieu, le bon Jack

Agree with him ideologically or not, Jack Layton was clearly no ordinary politician, and the week following his passing has been no ordinary week.  The widespread emotional outpouring in response to his death has been, dare I say it?  Unprecedented?  I certainly can’t recall anything quite like it.

Of all the memorials to Jack Layton, planned or improvised, to me the most touching is the now-famous chalk memorial in Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto:

Not just because it was such a spontaneously creative outpouring of grief, respect and even love for the guy.  But because one night the sky cried it all away, and then within 24 hours:

… tenacious Torontonians had stubbornly brought it back.  It was an act in such synchronicity with Layton’s determinedly optimistic spirit, I found it really moving.

I wonder if what we saw this past week says something about what we really want.

Niagara Falls to go Orange

The “Great Orange Wave” that made such profound changes to the Canadian political landscape last May apparently didn’t recede permanently into the electoral ocean.  Since Jack Layton’s passing on Monday, everything’s been coming up


And then there was the CN Tower.  Now it’s Niagara Falls:

Niagara Falls will join the CN Tower in going orange in honour of Jack Layton.

Tony Baldinelli of the Niagara Parks Commission says they received phone calls and emails requesting the falls be turned orange for Layton, who died Monday of cancer.

There were also requests on Facebook.

Baldinelli says the request was approved by the Niagara Falls Illumination Board.

The falls will be illuminated in orange at various times on Saturday night.

Holy Great, no, MASSIVE Orange Wave, Batman!

Jack would get a kick out of it: not so much because these things are being done out of respect for his memory, but because he would have appreciated the quirky creativity and enthusiasm and sense of fun that memorializing him has inspired in the many Canadians who admired and respected and even loved him.  These were, after all, some of the qualities that characterized Layton himself.  Even those who were ideologically opposed to him recognized that, which is why the outpouring of grief over his death seemed to transcend politics.

A few wet towels will probably gripe that it’s over-the-top, tacky, tooooo too much.  An orange Niagara Falls!?  AIIIEEEE!!!  Let the red-faced, pearl-clutching, hair-pulling outrage begin!

But so what?  It’s fun.  The only thing more fun would be if Christie Blatchford had booked a weekend vacay to get away from the sea of hate mail she says she’s drowning in, destination: oh, somewhere close, you know… like Niagara Falls.

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