Saturday, August 27, 2011

RIP Layton: The King is Dead (a wee editorial)

The headline:

The many removed comments because the headline's so stupid:



The article was more interesting than the outraged commentors gave it credit for, it was just badly written. I don't think it was meant to address the people who knew Layton, met Layton, followed his career and knew a lot about him--those are the people who responded to this article with outraged comments I don't need filthy experts telling me how to feel [shakes fist]. Of course their grief is unsurprising and natural.

But what about people like me? I didn't follow Layton's career, and I didn't vote NDP. I've learned more about him since his death than before.  Yet I could still tell Layton was a "some are born great" kind of guy, who could easily have been voted in as Prime Minister if he'd been in a centrist party. Though I voted for my local MP who I liked, I was satisfied to have Layton represent Quebec, and be the head of the opposition. 

And when he died I knew we'd lost an important Canadian. And when I read his last letter (besides giving him props for such an ace political move) tears sprang to my eyes. So I think this part of the CBC article is bang on the money:
Peterson said some of it can actually be traced to before the dawn of mankind, where certain members of groups were designated "high status primates." "The people at the top of the dominant hierarchies kind of stand for the whole hierarchy. So when the hierarchy loses its head, the entire structure is threatened," he said. "We saw that with Kennedy's death because people just fell apart. They were acting like their whole tribe was destroyed. ...It's as old as humanity. You can see going back in history — the death of a king was always a major event."

Harper may have been voted in as Prime Minister, but he's not royalty. (Though he is smart enough to play the politics right in giving Layton a state funeral. God he's good.)

For the record, I'd say Elizabeth May is our Queen. She doesn't get the same press as Layton because her party's even smaller, but was I ever impressed with her when I watched the filibustering on C-PAP. She stayed for the whole damned thing, got almost no sleep, and took all the kiddies to task when they started getting rude. I am not surprised she won her seat in Parliament--she's one to watch.

By London Mabel


1 comment:

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