I was very sad to hear the news that Jack Layton had passed away today. Much will be written about him in the next few days, by people who knew him much better than I did, and by people much better at paying tribute. So, I'll offer only this: the goal of politics should always be (yet rarely is) to make things better. One may disagree with the means a leader prescribes for achieving that goal, and these prescriptions might even be wrong. But if the leader pursues this goal with integrity and honesty, he can't help but do a great deal of good.
Jack Layton wanted things to be better. He was an honest and passionate advocate for the better world he sought. This is a rare quality in politics, and we are poorer for having lost him.