Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quote Of The Day

Ian Welsh, on the death of Jack Layton, the leader of Canada's New Democratic Party:
The Liberals are not, unfortunately, a credible option. They, as with most “centrist” parties in the world today, simply want to go to hell on the slow road. Electing the NDP, then, is our only chance. They might not do the right things, but they are the only party which would even consider doing the right things. And Layton was a strong leader and one whom many Canadians genuinely liked. The nickname “Smiling Jack” started out derisive, but it became a term of affection.

RIP, Jack Layton, Federal New Democratic Party Leader
One way to judge someone is to listen to what his adversaries say about him. One of his principle adversaries, Prime Minister Steven Martin, had this to say, as quoted by the National Journal yesterday:
“I know one thing: Jack gave his fight against cancer everything he had. Indeed, Jack never backed down from any fight.”

Jack Layton dies of cancer
While I think that the only valid way to find out what kind of executive someone might be is to put him in the position and see, I suspect that Layton would have been a far better leader than the current prime minister. If you want to see the respect a politician who tried to live up to his rhetoric can inspire, then go read the rest of Ian's article. It's a sad contrast to the parade of arrogant posers and hypocrites who have occupied the White House in the last couple of decades.

But the part of the quote that struck a chord with me is the opening sentences. In the U.S., we have no equivalent of the New Democrats. The Democrats are a centrist party, at least on their good days. On their bad days, they seem to suffer from Tea Party envy. They're alternately useless and dangerous, and The Other Guys usually only manage to avoid being useless. There's not much to look forward to in American politics until progressives generally understand this, and are willing to do what is necessary to change things.

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