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Building the Orange Wave: The Inside Story Behind the Historic Rise of Jack Layton and the NDP
Has the Orange Wave collapsed? Are we now in thrall of Trudeaumania 2.0? Can the Harper Conservatives be defeated in 2015? After the NDP's recent implosion in Nova Scotia, disappointment in British Columbia, and stalled hopes in federal byelections, these are the questions many progressives are posing.
Who would have thought the New Democratic Party would be taking its place as the Official Opposition as the House of Commons resumed Sept. 19? Not the Liberal Party, that is for sure, nor the Bloc. Perhaps the most surprised are the closest observers of parliament: the press gallery and the national media.
Now that the "how did this happen" stage of reporting is over, the prominent storyline is that as the Official Opposition the NDP must get serious and moderate its traditional policy stances. Major political figures and players in the national media like a scenario where the New Democrats recognize their past limitations, become more centrist, and work with the Liberals.
Never in our collective lifetime have we seen such an outpouring, so much emotional intensity, from every corner of this country. There have been occasions, historically, when we've seen respect and admiration but never so much love, never such a shocked sense of personal loss.
Jack was so alive, so much fun, so engaged in daily life with so much gusto, so unpretentious, that it was hard while he lived to focus on how incredibly important that was to us, he was to us. Until he was so suddenly gone, cruelly gone, at the pinnacle of his career.
To hear so many Canadians speak so open-heartedly of love, to see young and old take chalk in hand to write without embarrassment of hope, or hang banners from overpasses to express their grief and loss. It's astonishing.