Of love and politics and life - Macleans.ca

Of love and politics and life


Jonathan McLeod notes Jack Layton’s use of the word “love.”

It is unfortunate that it requires the death of a man, and the words of a political leader, for the country to embrace an outlook of love over anger, but how glorious, should that be the legacy he leaves to us. Love is transcendant. Love is transformative. It appears Jack Layton understood this. We are fortunate to have such men among us, if only too briefly.

Mr. Layton used the l-word in his first statement last month announcing his new cancer diagnosis. It reminded me, at the time, of something Bill Siksay, citing Svend Robinson, said upon departing Parliament this spring—Mr. Siksay’s remarks had stood out to me as something I’d never heard before. Talking to Anne McGrath for this piece, she reminded of Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians and mentioned former German chancellor Willy Brandt as a leader who had spoken about love and politics. Love was also, to cite perhaps the most celebrated example, at the heart of Martin Luther King’s rhetoric and philosophy.

More thoughts from Brian Topp, Tim Powers, Ralph Goodale, Niki AshtonGlen PearsonNick Taylor-Vaisey, Kady O’Malley and Dan Arnold. From Torontoist, a panoramic image of the chalk tributes outside city hall in Toronto and another picture capturing the extent of the messages, a display that prompted this note last night from Mr. Layton’s son, Mike.


Of love and politics and life

  1. For thousands of years people around world have been falling in love but McLeod thinks Layton is lodestar and has something to teach us on topic of love even tho Layton visited brothels that were being investigated for underage prostitution?
    Layton had all advantages of wealth/youth and yet decided to be a parasite his whole life. Layton thought he was superior human being, the conscience of Canada supposedly, and lived off labour of others his entire life while telling us that we are inadequate. 

    With only a few days left to live, Layton and his brain trust got together for hours to write letter from grave, to cajole Canadians one last time about how we must do better. Layton has family, wife children grandchildren … etc he could have spent his last few days with yet he didn’t. 

    Not all of us are convinced Layton even knew what love was. 

    Also, how long do we have to listen to asinine progressives talk about love. Human beings don’t love everyone, we just don’t, so stop thinking you are profound with comments like love is better than anger. Really? Who knew. I must remember that.

    • Honestly Tony that is the saddest comment I’ve seen in some time.

      Love is an ideal one strives to embody, but nobody is perfect in that regard nor is anyone claiming that they are.

      The point you seem to miss is that despite politics supposedly representing one of the highest forms of social interaction in a nation, ours and many others fail to even speak of the ideals the average person tries to live up to.

      Layton’s words are a reminder of what our goals are, and I can’t imagine what’s wrong with that.

      Forest for the trees Tony, forest for the trees.

    • Christie Blatchford’s got a table waiting for just you and her, Tony. Enjoy yourselves, if you can.

  2. It’s sad that many rightwingers cannot eve manage to maintain a respectful silence.

    TonyAdams, you are staining yourself.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love.

    Jack knew that, and the people mourning for him know that.