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Speaking Out Louder

Cover of Speaking Out Louder

Speaking Out Louder

Ideas That Work for Canadians
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The only book written by Jack Layton (1950-2011) on his political life and vision, this is the former NDP leader's passionate call to action and will inspire all Canadians to embrace a better future.

On August 22, 2011, Jack Layton, Official Opposition Leader, died as he lived, with dignity, bestowing to his country a message of hope. Canada was in mourning and within hours of his death, tens of thousands of Canadians -- from NDP supporters to political opponents -- paid tribute to the man and his legacy through public vigils, memorials, and expressions of grief.

Originally published in 2006, Speaking Out Louder represents Layton's "blueprint for Canada" Highly acclaimed and powerfully written, this book captures Jack Layton's political vision and exemplifies the optimism that marked his life's work. In it he shares personal stories and fascinating, behind-the-scenes details of his career in national politics and talks about the big issues (poverty, AIDS and healthcare, childcare, housing, education) and the ideas that work for Canadians.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

The only book written by Jack Layton (1950-2011) on his political life and vision, this is the former NDP leader's passionate call to action and will inspire all Canadians to embrace a better future.

On August 22, 2011, Jack Layton, Official Opposition Leader, died as he lived, with dignity, bestowing to his country a message of hope. Canada was in mourning and within hours of his death, tens of thousands of Canadians -- from NDP supporters to political opponents -- paid tribute to the man and his legacy through public vigils, memorials, and expressions of grief.

Originally published in 2006, Speaking Out Louder represents Layton's "blueprint for Canada" Highly acclaimed and powerfully written, this book captures Jack Layton's political vision and exemplifies the optimism that marked his life's work. In it he shares personal stories and fascinating, behind-the-scenes details of his career in national politics and talks about the big issues (poverty, AIDS and healthcare, childcare, housing, education) and the ideas that work for Canadians.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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  • From the book

    Why Does Politics Matter?Politics matters. Ideas matter. Democracy matters, because all of us need to be able to make a difference. This book is about all three--politics, ideas, and democracy. The chapters that follow are about ideas--ideas that work. As outrageous as it sounds, coming from one, politics is too important to leave just to politicians. That's where you come in. You, the Canadian citizen, or someone who is on the way to becoming one. Canada is your country. Democracy should ensure that you are engaged and involved in setting the course for your country. You should feel right at the centre of the political process but, all too often, you feel pushed aside. You're told that politics doesn't really matter. That message is often delivered by politicians closely linked with the corporate elite. At the heart of their message is, keeping you out of politics creates more space for them. Power has been slipping away from Canadians. Have you noticed? I remember the optimism of Canadian politics years ago--we could build together and were proud of it. We built health-care systems for all, the best affordable housing in the world, great education systems for our kids, railways and public transit systems, communities where quality of life was second to none. But now, we feel all that slipping away. Even as communities across Canada are showing the way with creative local solutions, grabbing every opportunity that comes within their grasp, our federal government has cynically slipped into the role of naysayer.

    For at least ten years, we've been told we cannot build and innovate anymore because we have no financial capacity to do so. As we turn away, discouraged, from voting, from participating, from building together, the vacuum that's created allows powerful elites to be free to negotiate cozy deals behind closed doors, deals that often cost Canadians their livelihood. They want to sell off our public resources without your knowledge. There is a growing CEO atmosphere around government these days with the direction of the country being directed from Bay Street boardrooms, well away from pesky questioners. Powerful interests want to spend your money on astoundingly expensive projects such as the Star Wars missile defence program. And the fewer opportunities that Canadians are given to have meaningful input, the easier it is for the corporate elite to proceed, maximizing their bottom line in the process.

    There's another reason why so many people come to believe that politics doesn't matter. Sociologists call it "feeling alienated," left outside, as though there is nothing that we can do about the problems we face. It's sad. I've met Canadians across the country who refer to Ottawa, not as a place, but as a bad idea. These folks think that government, with its complex processes and shenanigans, doesn't represent them, or speak for them, or act on their behalf. The federal sponsorship scandal and other debacles have only served to rub more salt in the wounds. Our confidence is further shaken when governments act to dismantle public services or social programs that people have come to rely on. But think about it--shouldn't this alienation be driving us to become more involved in politics, not less? People should be working with their neighbours, their co-workers, and with others who share their concerns, coming together to make sure their voices are heard, their interests protected, and their ideas and concerns treated seriously.

    For two decades at least, corporate think tanks and the politicians who promote their messages have been telling Canadians, essentially, that citizens do not matter in the political process because they lack the capacity to build...

About the Author-
  • Born and raised in Quebec, JACK LAYTON graduated from McGill University and received his doctorate in political science from York University. He was leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada from 2003 until his death in 2011. He previously sat on Toronto City Council, serving at times during that period as acting mayor and deputy mayor of Toronto. He was the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Toronto--Danforth. His wife, Olivia Chow, was a long-time Toronto city councillor and is now a Member of Parliament.

Reviews-
  • The Globe and Mail

    "Layton's book is a very good read. Its tremendous research, clear writing and overall civility should find it a place on the shelves of political readers of all stripes... inspiring."

  • Ottawa Citizen "... required reading for anyone who yearns for the optimism of Trudeau-era Liberalism."
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    McClelland & Stewart
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Speaking Out Louder
Ideas That Work for Canadians
Jack Layton
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