Jack Layton death
A tweet from Thomas Mulcair marked the fourth anniversary of Layton's death on Saturday.
Jack Layton was a die-hard Trekkie, and had his own custom-made Trekkie uniform that he wore at conventions. He was a musician, and loved to gather his friends and colleagues, singing songs from the 1960s. He would encourage everyone to sing, even if you didn't know the words. He wore funky glasses and blue jeans. He kept his hair long.
Hardly a parade of Pravda puff pieces, much of the ink spilled during the recent flurry of Layton retrospectives has actually been fairly critical, skeptical, or at least measured in honestly assessing Jack's pros and cons. And if you thought the Canadian press' obsession with royalty was winding down just because we've gone -- what? -- six weeks without a royal visit, guess again! Several of Canada's leading papers felt inexplicably obligated to devote many inches of concerned columnspace to Prince Harry playing a particularly rousing game of, ah, Vegas hold-em.
Jack Layton is one the Canadian politician I respected most, yet never had a chance to support. I first met him at a charity event where he wrote out his private cell phone number. He asked me to call him anytime I wanted so we could have a conversation. I often felt like I was talking to Canada itself.
I suppose crying over Jack's death makes me a member of what Christie Blatchford called "the mourning chaff;" those who make a spectacle out of a death they weren't affected by. I dislike this idea of a mourning hierarchy. This isn't a game of Who's the Saddest. This idea undermines how he affected Canadians.