Jack and Tom - Macleans.ca

Jack and Tom

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We interrupt DMA’s regularly scheduled vacation to get to the news about Jack Layton. First off, it hurt to see him today. I know cancer well; the most enraging thing about it, apart from the prognosis, is how quickly it can physically ravage a human being. It makes even the strongest among us, and Layton is certainly that, look weak. And then people treat you as such, which makes it even worse. Go and kick it in the ass again, Jack. It deserves it.

A quick word about the leadership bit. With all due respect to Tasha Kheirddin, I don’t think the appointment of Nycole Turmel as interim leader of the NDP is a slight to Tom Mulcair at all. In fact, I doubt very much that Mulcair would have wanted the job. Think about it: Layton says he is temporarily stepping down as leader. It would look pretty bad for someone with long-brewing leadership aspirations like Mulcair to jump at a job that is, for now anyway, strictly a Bob Rae deal. At best, Mulcair would come off as an opportunist—and it would be way worse should Layton not return to the party. It’s best for Mulcair to keep his powder dry and his hopes alive by leaving the job to Turmel, whose pretensions to the NDP’s helm are exactly as old as the Orange Surge that swept her to power.