I’ve struggled for the last week trying to think of some lasting way to remember Jack Layton, and one word keeps popping into my head: Change. Change the way you behave; change the way you think about things; change your attitudes- all of it for the better. And that’s what I take away from Layton’s death, and his final message to Canadians.
I’ve been writing a couple of pieces on the provincial election and I’ve come to the realization that I’m ready for change; probably not in my voting preferences- but in the way this election is conducted. I’m ready for a change to a civil election campaign based on ideas. I’m ready for the P.C.’s to drop that “Taxman” Label for McGuinty, and I’m ready for the Liberals to drop the “Mike Harris” label for Tim Hudak. I’m ready for McGuinty to stand on his record, admit that yes he’s messed up, but he intends to improve. And I’m ready for Mr. Hudak, and Ms. Horwath, and Mr. Schreiner, to present well-thought out alternatives to Mr. McGuinty’s ideas.
I’m ready for the party leaders to knock my socks off with their visions for Ontario. The province is facing some serious challenges over the next few years; it’s up to you to apply creativity to them. It’s up to you to come up with new ideas. I’m ready for a government that realizes the right thing, isn’t necessarily the popular thing but does it anyway. I’m ready for a government that realizes it might not have all the answers; one that works with its opposition sometimes in the name of a better Ontario.
The sad thing is I know I’m likely dreaming about all this. It’s the easy way out to label someone a promise-breaker; to sling mud, and cast someone in his disliked predecessor’s image. But I am hopeful, that it can change. I’m optimistic that if I write these thoughts down; other people who perhaps agree with me will read them, and maybe just maybe we can make change. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for it.