Longtime New Democratic Party leader Ed Broadbent, with whom I had the honour to serve in Parliament, has died, aged 87. The second of three children, John Edward Broadbent was born in 1936, in Oshawa, Ontario. As a national political leader, he presented as a champion for average working Canadians, an intellectual who believed in building a “good society”. Ed’s idealism led him to devote a lifetime to equality issues in Canada, and around the world.Broadbent received a Ph.D. degree in political science from the University of Toronto in 1966, with a thesis titled "The Good Society of John Stuart Mill." He was a fellow in the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, Canada.Broadbent was first elected to Parliament in 1968 and served as a New Democrat MP for 21 years, representing first Oshawa-Whitby, Ont. Later, during a brief return to the federal scene between 2004 and 2006, he represented Ottawa Centre. He did not seek re-election in 2006, due to the declining health of his wife, Lucille.Known as “Honest Ed, or "Mr. Decent," Broadbent led the NDP for fourteen years and four elections. He was made a companion of the Order of Canada in 2001.Ed Broadbent's glory days were in the mid-1980, when he rode a wave of popularity and was feted in the media, was more poupular than either Liberal Leader John Turner or Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. His peak was in the 1988 “free-trade” election, when he led an electoral breakthrough for the NDP by winning 43 seats in the House of Commons. He stepped down as leader in 1989, but remained a respected elder statesman. During his second period outside of elected politics, he helped to establish the Broadbent Institute, a socialist think tank espousing “social democracy”.Ed was thereafter a major player for many years on the Canadian political scene. He was director of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development from 1990 to 1996. In 2023, he published “Seeking Social Democracy”, a detailed reflection on his life and career, co-authored with academic Francis Abele, policy strategist Jonathan Sas, and journalist Luke Savage.He was my fellow MP from 2004-2006. I recall his reasonableness but also his strength in debate. I consider him a great parliamentarian and a significant contributor to Canadian political ideas. And, I remember him as a gentleman colleague in the House of Commons without pretence, and an idealist of socialist beliefs who advocated for the “welfare state.” Whatever our differences, he was a good man. And many of my then-colleagues would say no less.Rest in peace.