I think it is a sad and disappointing fact, that if you were to randomly ask Canadians under the age of 30 (and you might even find it's older than that) who Mike "The Situation" Sorentino is that the vast majority could tell you - but if you were to ask them who Jack Layton was, they'd stare at you blankly.
We need to re-examine the values we are teaching our children - and yes, it starts with the parents and teachers but the onus falls on everyone else as well. We have to stop holding up individuals with no apparent talent, with nothing to contribute to this world other than vapid, self-obsessed exploitaion as role models and learn to pay attention to things that matter. And we have to start with ourselves.
I may not have supported his political views, but I couldn't help but respect and admire Jack Layton as a person - I was truly saddened at his passing. The passion with which he fought and the commitment to his beliefs was not only evident - it was compelling. It will be interesting to see how successfully his party can carry on without his charisma and strength leading them.
Rest in peace, Mr. Layton. Job well done.