Thursday, 25 August 2011

legacies, legends and left-wing kooks

It has been a bit of a bumpy week.

We have been thinking about Jack. We have been thinking about Olivia, Mike, Sarah, Beatrice, Jack's brothers and others close to him.

And we have been thinking about legends and legacies. Many of us are surprised at our own profound feelings of loss. We didn't know that over these many years, even though most of us only met him long enough to shake hands and share a quick laugh, Jack Layton had somehow become family to us as well.

Not for everybody of course. There is the famous "anti-hagiographical" column and the debate that ensued.

But many of us are trying to express what we feel we gained by having Jack among us and what we might have lost with his passing.

There is the divine, the glowing and the silly.

There is a Facebook group called Things I Will Do In Memory of Jack Layton.

Marcus Gee thinks that this outpouring of grief is also civic engagement. People who share the "vision of a city that looks out for its most vulnerable and cares about the environment" are using this occasion to wave at each other across the piles of orange flowers. In this sad time, we can see how many of us there really are. He thinks that the people at Toronto City Hall who have been calling us "left-wing kooks" will have to take notice. I hope he is right about both those things. Of course, I'm going to have to do more than hope.

If Michael Valpy is right*,

When polls from the past federal election are closely analyzed, what shows up is that Mr. Harper’s Conservatives were elected by a lot of old people — people over the age of 45 whose electoral participation rate is between 60 and 80 per cent, climbing higher as they climb to meet their Maker. People under the age of 45 were powerfully anti-Conservative but at best only about 40 per cent of them voted. And if they had voted in the same proportion as the over-45s, there would not have been a Conservative majority; there probably wouldn’t have been a Conservative minority. What likely we might have got is an NDP-led coalition.
what all of us should probably do, one sure way to get them to notice, is show up and vote.

Then, like Rebecca, Margerit and Vanessa, do this.

*More evidence that Mr. Valpy IS correct at Scott's DiaTribes here.

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