A Life of Preening

Jack Layton – Happy Jack – is a man whose time, as they say, has come. Less charitably, perhaps, the sun’s shining on his ass – ¬†through no greater effort than having been snoozing outside in the proper orientation – but it’s shining nonetheless.

Here’s a man who’s done literally nothing in life beyond smiling, seeking out microphones and hectoring incumbent politicians about the folly of their ways. Every couple of years or so (or less), he has to work a bit at getting himself re-elected, but you get the feeling he hardly breaks a sweat even then.

Jack’s your prototypic “politician” in the absolutely worst sense of that word; always sanctimonious, full of feigned concern and never, ever actually responsible for anything. Jack’s taken figurehead status and punditry in the halls of Parliament to art form status. In a (perverse) sense, he comes by this “honestly” – ¬†he comes from a family of politicians. (Just to show how insidious the affliction is, he’s married to an MP!)

We’ve gotten used to hearing Jack refer to himself as a “fighter” and an advocate for “the little guy”, despite not having ever accomplished anything whatsoever on his behalf. Ah, well, reputations have sometimes been crafted on even less.

So, Jack’s sitting on the cusp of the most unexpected payday of his entire life – possible admission to Stornoway. What could be sweeter than that? Especially since, the NDP platform fantasy to the contrary, all Jack had to do this election, was smile a lot. The electorate has gotten their fill of Surly Stephan and Imperious Iggy, leaving a guy boasting cheerfulness as his sole calling card, a lot of gained ground.

You can make book on Jack getting delusions of serving as the next PM, if only through some makeshift coalition cobbled together with duct tape, but, if not, at least him and Olivia can move from their rent-subsidized co-op to nice rent-free digs for a couple of years, with a nice raise to boot.

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