A final visit to Parliament Hill


Jack Layton’s casket is now lying-in-state in the House of Commons foyer.

CBC has live online coverage here.


A final visit to Parliament Hill

  1. Thought I’d share something interesting I discovered.

    If Wikipedia’s numbers are correct (and they’re usually good for this) the 4.5 million votes the NDP received in the last election are the most votes received by a second place party in any election in the history of Confederation with only one (weird) exception.  The only Leader of the Official Opposition in the entire history of the country who’s party received more votes than Layton’s NDP did in 2011 was Pierre Trudeau in 1979.  And Trudeau became Leader of the Official Opposition despite WINNING the popular vote (Joe Clark’s Tories had 4.1 million votes – less than Layton’s NDP – to Trudeau’s 4.595 million).

    Just an interesting factoid to share with anyone who claims that a person who was leader of a national political party for 8.5 years, who’s party won over 30% of the vote in the last election, more than 1 in 4 votes in half the provinces, and beat the governing party in both the popular vote and the seat count in two provinces and one territory wasn’t a person of “national significance”.

  2. Not intending this as a slight to Jack Layton but has a state funeral ever been held for a leader of the opposition before?
    It is quite a show of respect from the PM, I truly believe the house would have been a more civil place with Jack in the opposition benches. Despite their differences politically, I think Jack and Stephen shared many interests and would have been far more cordial then previous opposition leaders.

    • Yes, state funerals have been held for Leaders of the Official Opposition who died in office, but only opposition leaders who had been PM at some point in their life as well have ever died in office.  I believe that Jack Layton is the very first Leader of the Opposition in the history of Canada to die in office without ever being PM at any point, and the last Leader of the Opposition to die in office was Laurier, way back in 1919. So, while there’s never been a state funeral for a non-PM LOO who died in office, that’s arguably because no non-PM LOO has ever died in office.

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