There is a groundswell of support for Mr. Layton across the nation because he fought relentlessly for the less fortunate, against the powerful - whom people on the right like Ms. Blatchford and her colleagues at the National Post so admire – and he didn't let his tragic illness dim his eternal optimism, as he fought to the end for, what for him were, heartfelt causes.
While there is a great deal of truth to Ms. Blatchford's comments that flowers and notes of condolences have become commonplace upon the death of famous people, since the death of Princess Diana; and people routinely weep for those they have never much thought about before, and it's considered appropriate, it's not accurate to say we're witnessing the Dianafication of Mr. Layton's death.
While there may be some overlap in terms of mourners for the two, the admiration for Jack Layton is due to the passion he had for causes and compassion for people, while the attraction to Lady Diana was due to the passion and compassion she had for herself, representing diametrically opposed values in the two people and likewise, many of those who mourn for them.
Canadians' outpouring of emotion over the death of Pierre Trudeau in 2000 was, similar to that we're witnessing for Mr. Layton, also unexpected. The values Mr. Layton and Mr. Trudeau so passionately fought for – equality and justice for all -have long resonated with a lot of Canadians. In this regard, these two men stand alone amongst their peers.
Can anyone foresee this type of response upon the death of self-serving and opportunistic politicians like Brian Mulroney or Stephen Harper for that matter?Thankfully, no. But I could certainly foresee it should some other lefty icon suddenly kick it—Naomi Klein, say, or David Suzuki.
As for the diff 'tween Di and Jack—what piffle! Di hit the exact same "look-at-me-being-selfless" notes that Jack did. At least, unlike Jack, she did some actual good— holding the hand of dying AIDS patients and the like. What good did Jack ever do for an actual person (as opposed to "the people," the amorphous object of Socialists' affection)? And if you want to talk "opportunistic," can you think of anything more opportunistic than a sick man, who really had no business running for anything given the precarious state of his health, subjecting himself to the rigours of what he likely knew would be his last political campaign because he saw an opportunity to win big?
Without meaning to, the Chargers have punctured the biggest myth of all: that Layton did it all for us, not himself.