Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Jack Layton as he appeared four weeks ago
I won't eulogize here. It is being done in many places already.
The only thing I will say is that Canadians are likely to be far less polite about privacy when it comes to the leaders of political parties in Canada. Not content will we be to have someone say to us, do you want me to show you by doing push-ups and then we demur from asking for medical records.
If Canada is going to make our political system all about the leaders and less about the party, then we are going to need to know a lot more about the health of those leaders.
We were told four weeks ago that Jack Layton would be back September 19. However, even our own eyes were saying: Whoa. However, we demurred when the question came up about what the extent of the cancer was. Private is what we were told.
That won't be good enough in the future. I think we will see a push for more health disclosure as we see in the States.
Layton was a courageous man and he was a man of conviction. However, we didn't know how bad things were. Transparency has been the hallmark of many a politician. It is going to have to start at the level of the personal. We will need to know the health of our political leaders.