'Most people don’t walk around with labels on'

Chris Selley profiles Jack Layton.

Still, it’s hard to envision anyone better suited to the job than a self-denying socialist with a history of both compromise and getting what he wants out of people. Indeed, that’s what the NDP hoped Mr. Layton could do when they chose him, in 2003, as their leader: Just win, baby … And for Mr. Layton, it’s not just a personal and professional triumph — a place in the history books, if nothing else, as one of Canada’s most popular politicians in an age of crippling apathy. It’s a thumping repudiation of the sneering tactics his political opponents have confidently used against him throughout his career. Call him a pinko; call him a Taliban stooge; call him a waste of Canadians’ votes, if you want. You can reach him at Stornoway.

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