Love’s Legacy

Jonathan McLeod

August 23, 2011 | 2 Comments

It is too soon to determine what Jack Layton’s legacy will be.

Those far more entrenched in the study of the whims of Canadian voters will have far better insight into this than I. Will the NDP’s momentum spring further electoral success? Will the Canadian voter veer to the left? Will Canada’s left wing turn more progressive? Will his spirit elevate political discourse in the country?

I have answers for none of these. Nonetheless, I am certain that Layton will have a lasting effect on Canadian politics. His accomplishments, his fight, his charm – all these will be remembered, as will, I imagine, his Letter to Canadians, which has already found a place in our popular conscience.

Hopefully, his message of the importance and strength of love will not be lost amidst the political messaging of his farewell letter (and let’s not kid ourselves, that letter was quite political). A man so steeped in politics can be forgiven some partisan reflections as he faces eternal slumber. That he focused his final paragraph on the the power of love, the power of hope and the power of optimism should not be forgotten.

It is unfortunate that it requires the death of a man, and the words of a political leader, for the country to embrace an outlook of love over anger, but how glorious, should that be the legacy he leaves to us. Love is transcendant. Love is transformative. It appears Jack Layton understood this. We are fortunate to have such men among us, if only too briefly.


2 Responses to “Love’s Legacy”

  1. Sarah Banks
    August 23rd, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

    Lovely little piece you just wrote, Jon.

    I have to say—I’m always quick to tell people that I’m “not a card-carrying anything—I just know I’m not conservative.” But all of this has had an impact on that position of mine. I’m surprising myself with how moved I am by the events and sentiment (and most of all Jack, himself) of the past 36 hours—and dare I say, I feel I’ve been swayed to carry a card.

    I doubt I’m the only one who’s thinking these thoughts. I’ve always disliked the term “bleeding heart liberal” (that is what the NDPS are, right?) — it always seems to come out of the mouths of thick-skinned bullying types with little care for humanity at large– so proud of their pragmatism and fiscally responsible ideals.

    I say it’s the hearts that aren’t full and open the way Jack’s was are the ones that put this country at far greater risk of social and economic derailment.


    Jonathan McLeod Reply:

    Thanks, Sarah.


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