“Are we allowed to sing? I imagine that at times it might improve the tone of the debate.”

–Canadian opposition leader Jack Layton on the House of Commons floor two months ago.

Layton, the head of the progressive New Democratic Party, died of cancer this morning at the age of 61. As I noted on this site at the time, Layton’s NDP won astonishing gains in this spring’s Canadian elections, transforming the country’s political landscape while electing six – yes, six – activist undergraduate students to the country’s parliament.