A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Politics of Respect

As Stephen Lewis said in his eulogy To hear so many Canadians speak so open-heartedly of love, to see young and old take chalk in hand to write without embarrassment of hope, or hang banners from overpasses to express their grief and loss. It's astonishing.”

It was indeed, I am not a particular supported of the NDP but both Jack;s words in his final letter and Stephen's words in the eulogy struck a particular cord with me and, judging from the reaction to both, I am not alone in that!

Jack, I think, tapped into a yearning, sometimes ephemeral, rarely articulated, a yearning that politics be conducted in a different way, and from that difference would emerge a better Canada.
That difference was by no means an end to rancour, an end to the abusive, vituperative practice of the political arts. The difference was also, and critically, one of policy -- a fundamentally different way of viewing the future of Canada.
His remarkable letter made it absolutely clear. This was a testament written in the very throes of death that set out what Jack wanted for his caucus, for his party, for young people, for all Canadians.”

So many of us are sick of the way our politicians behave, the divisiveness created by inflexible party lines, the constant slagging of the other guys ideas and proposals that to hear a call for respect and “an economy that would embrace equity, fairness, balance and creative generosity.” at what was undoubtedly one of the largest public morning for a leader in some considerable time was perhaps just what we needed to give us new resolve to change things for the better.

Jack understood that we are headed into even more perilous economic times. He wanted Canadians to have a choice between what he described as the unfairness of an economy that excludes so many from our collective wealth, and an economy that would embrace equity, fairness, balance and creative generosity.”
We can but hope that the rich and powerful, those politicians with the power to initiate change (at least one of whom was present during the funeral) and those who sit across the isle in the House are as moved by these words as I was. Unfortunately I suspect few of them will be.

We're all shaken by grief but I believe we're slowly being steadied by a new resolve and I see that resolve in words written in chalk and in a fresh determination on people's faces. A resolve to honour Jack by bringing the politics of respect for all, respect for the Earth and respect for principle and generosity back to life.”

Thank you Jack (and Stephen) for your words of encouragement and guidance, as the Reverend said “the torch has been passed” now it is up to us.

Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world...................

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

Jack Layton 1950 -2011
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