Who’s Team Am I On?

Did you know: “I’m on TEAM LAYTON”

At least that’s what my latest NDP mailing tells me.

I’m a proud NDP’er in a very blue conservative province.  I’ve shocked the National fundraising office of the New Democratic Party by calling them to increase my monthly donation.  I entertain all requests to serve on volunteer committees and I’m very open to the occasional request for donations to “bring down the Harper/Ignatieff partnership”.  However,  I just can’t take it anymore.

Maybe I’m just an out of touch Westerner but I do not get the NDP man-crush on Jack Layton.  Sure…he’s an affable and charismatic individual who has grown increasingly more competent over the years as the leader of the NDP.

However, he has not been more eloquent, visionary, or innovative – or at least he hasn’t shown me that side yet.  He continues to pander to the soundbite – hoping to solidify the Opposition role through continual references to the kitchen table and hardworking Canadians.  It frustrates me deeply that our party – which has historically not been built on the charm and swagger of a particular person but rather on the value of our ideas – has so blatantly embraced the spin of Messiah politics.

Rather than pointing out the flaws in the other party’s political platforms (or lack thereof in the case of the Liberals), while highlighting the concrete ideas of the NDP – the NDP leadership has called upon “TEAM LAYTON” and Superstar Jack to lead us into the promised land.  Effective leadership is often – and usually should be – bland and strategic; not glitzy and full of propaganda.  Give me the compassion, justice and idealism of Tommy Douglas or the diplomatic and hospitable leadership of Broadbent over this infatuation of our squared jawed Torontonian with a porn star moustache.

I will not be placing this “I’m on Team Layton” placard on my window.  I will not replace a platform of ideals, justice, equality and social conscience with the mugshot of yet another political celebrity.  Sorry Jack – get yourself out of the limelight and allow good governance and progressive ideas have centre-stage for a while…you never know: It just might end up getting you elected.

I’m on TEAM NDP!

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