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.
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.
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.