Of love and politics and life - Macleans.ca

Of love and politics and life

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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.