'Brick-by-brick, block-by-block'

Here is a piece from this week’s print edition on the state of the NDP. Several dozen sentences ensue, just one of those having anything to do with the fact the party may or may not change something about its name.

Even by the normally quixotic standards of the NDP, it has been a strange year. For a fleeting moment in December, it appeared Jack Layton was going to be a cabinet minister in a coalition government. By the end of June, Michael Ignatieff had a deal instead with Stephen Harper, and the Prime Minister was addressing the party in Parliament’s far corner as the “Bloc Anglais.”

The leader of the NDP, now six years into his tenure, remains relentlessly enthusiastic. “It was a fascinating eight months,” Layton says, explaining himself next with duelling metaphors. “I always say to folks: get ready, I’m a long-time sailor; I don’t go tacking back and forth to try to catch the lightest little gust of wind. When I ran for leader, I laid out a plan and I said it’s like a construction project. You’ve got to start with the foundation and you build, brick-by-brick, block-by-block.”