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10 Things I've Learned From Jack Layton

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1. Moustaches can be dignified and authoritative. Or creepy, depending on how well you can grow one.

2. As a politician, everything you do and have done can come back, for better or worse. I remember seeing Jack Layton and Olivia Chow walking in an International Women's Day parade. It was years ago, but I still remember.

3. Even people who are larger than life are still people. We are still mortal.

4. You actions define you. I look up to people who can truly live their values every day.

5. More and more, Canadian politics are about personality and who is the face of the party. I worry about the NDP now that such a strong and sharply defined leader is gone.

6. Persistence pays off, but you also have to know when to change things up.

7. Young people are the future. I know it sounds cheesy and obvious, but it's smart to take time to connect with young voters/consumers.

8. There are a lot of people who want politics to be civil, thoughtful, and respectful. People who want politicians to put aside partisanship and do what's best for the country. Jack Layton got pretty damn close to this ideal.

9. Who knew orange could be so hip?

10. Politicians have to be able to care for those who are at the margins of society. I'm paraphrasing, but a country is defined by how well they take care of their poorest citizens.

Thank you Jack.

Update: an inspiring letter from Jack.

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