February 28, 2006

Young Liberal Hypocrisy?

Bilingualism in a Leadership Candidate is an absolute must. While some English-Canadians might disagree, I ask: could a candidate ever present themselves for the leadership of the Liberal Party without a proper grasp of English? We are the party that brought in bilingualism; wouldn’t electing a unilingual leader be the equivalent of throwing in the towel? To make my point I write the next little part in French.

(Basically I just say that I once wrote a set of conditions or hoops potential candidates had to jump through, but I forgot bilingualism, and that it would be a shame for the YLC(Q) to tell our membership we support a unilingual English candidate, because we want a truly qualified leader. Now you can skip the French, but if you can read French, I suggest you do!)

Même avec mes efforts à écrire dans les deux langues officielles, je réalise que je ne suis pas Jules Verne avec ma plume. Avec cette course à la chefrie qui s’en vient, il faut que je me demande une question. J’avais mis des pré-conditions pour que la JLC(Q) pourrait se guider en choisissant un candidat. Il y avait l’appui du mariage des conjoints du même sexe, l’appui du droit au femmes au libre-choix, et l’appui du protocol de Kyoto. Mais j’avais oublié une grande chose majeure, et je m’excuse.

Il est impératif que les JLC(Q) ne supportent pas un candidat qui n’est pas bilingue. Imaginez donc le message que les JLC(Q) enverraient à notre membership si on dit : le meilleur candidat pour le rebâtir le Parti Libèral est unilingue anglophone. Quelle horreur! Je ne pourrai plus representer mes concitoyens dans le parti. Et je ne veux pas quelqu’un qui se pense bilingue mais sait juste prononcer des phrases pre-écrites. Je pense qu’il faut mettre la barre plus haute. Notre nouveau chef va se présenter au pays pour devenir Premier Ministre. Il faut qu’on présente un candidat qualifié.

Basically, the Liberal Party must choose someone that can represent the entire country. Imagine the next federal election when the Tories would put up the candidate with better French, from Alberta! At French debate night, the biggest jeer at Harper came when he did not understand one of the questions. We railed on him for it. Now we must accept someone who asked a reporter to repeat the question in English. Remember the hullabaloo when the Tories appointed a francophonie parliamentary secretary who didn’t speak French? Imagine appointing someone for LEADER who doesn’t speak French.

Last time I didn’t target anyone openly, but since rumors continue to swirl within the JLC(Q) about SOME people supporting a certain magnanimous candidate, I have to take my stand. We were elected to represent the rank of file Liberal Youth of the province, most of the young federalists in the province among them. (I said most not all, most, and as of now, it’s still true)

Can you just see the smile on the face of the Young Pequistes when our youth president supports a UNILINGUAL ANGLOPHONE for leadership? I can see André Boisclair playing back a tape “En Anglais s’il vous plaît”. It’s an embarrassment. How can I justify this to my members? How can I still expect the JLC(Q) to stay united behind a unilingual anglophone?

Surely, I am not the only one who is flabbergasted by this whole affair. I’m sure we will all be able to sit down in a room and have coffee, and after this we can still be friends, but as for rallying behind the same person, I am afraid the dream is over. So much for the promise of the exec staying united and interviewing all the candidates. Ah poor naïve Antonio, I guess I really expected her to come through on her promise to let the exec decide as a whole. I was let down. Young Liberals were let down.

73 Commentaires:

Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Agree with your post. The next leader should speak French and English. The French MUST be better than Stephen Harper's.
I am too old to be a Young Liberal but I say split up and support the candidate(s) you feel you want to. Our party needs to be more open and voting as a group is not very democractic anyways. So which candidates speak French? Hall-Findlay, Kennedy, Ignatieff, Dion, and Cauchon. There may be more yet. Bottom-line: lots of candidates to choose from.

2/28/2006 2:22 p.m.  
Blogger MPM a dit...

I agree. The LPC has always had an advantage over the other parties that make it the only true national party. Having a bilingual leader maintains and exacerbates that.

If the LPC elects a leader with poor, or no, French language skills, it loses that advantage. It makes the LPC a regional party, with a withering regional base. Moreover, it's a slap in the face to Quebec, whose support the LPC is clearly trying to regain.

Everyone in the LPC knows that a certain wealthy candidate is trying to use wealth to his/her advantage and I don't see any fault in that; however, part of being a leader is being able to speak the language of those whom you wish to lead. If your French is poor, your communciation will be poor and your leadership will be poor.

The LPC should demand that its new leader speak fluent French.

2/28/2006 3:22 p.m.  
Anonymous Francophile a dit...

Aucun des chefs péquistes n'était unilingue francophone. Ils s'exprimaient tous au moins en français et en anglais.

L'aspirante au poste de leader de la principale institution fédéraliste au Québec (pcq desfois on peut se demander si le PLQ l'est vraiment , on parle d'Yves Séguin et de Benoît Pelletier) ne peut s'exprimer correctement en français est tout simplement RIDICULE. Mme Stronach promet depuis deux ans qu'elle apprendra le français sous peu.

Si le PQ prend le pouvoir dans moins de deux ans et déclenche le processus référendaire, est-ce que la chef des forces du non sera encore en train d'essayer d'apprendre la langue de Molière ?

Belinda devrait passer son tour, apprendre le français, développer un peu de contenu et se présenter au leadership suivant.

2/28/2006 3:28 p.m.  
Anonymous john a dit...

Haha I told you she would fuck you, Antonio. She just wanted to hold you guys off until she had gotten enough $$$.

Now I see it's time for her to get screwed too haha. But you impress me with your calmness for someone who has just been betrayed.

She should resign or the exec should kick her out. Enough arrogance from that little princess.

2/28/2006 3:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

i guess some people talk a real good game about needing leadership that understands quebec and quebec youth. Too bad those same people don't feel that leadership needs to actually understand the language most of them speak, or federalism for that matter.

Young Liberals across the country had so much faith in the the president of the JLCQ. Now so many feel betrayed.

Plus ca change...

2/28/2006 4:26 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

For all those dickwads who are trying to turn this into a challenge to her presidency, sit down and shut up.

I am unhappy with one decision, and I am well within my right to do so.

And to the idiots who are spreading lies about her making a huge salary, thats crap

She made her decision and she has her reasons, but I do not speak for her. She is my friend. I do NOT want her to resign.

2/28/2006 6:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Unilingualism can be overcome by learning. But when a candidate has no ideas or vision - except being self important - they doom us to irrelevancy. For someone who aspired to lead two different parties to not have made the effort to learn the other official language says either she could care less or she can't. Either way, she remains a face to put on a poster, not an individual to lead or inspire.

2/28/2006 6:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Richard Diamond does not speak French but he is trying to learn.


2/28/2006 8:51 p.m.  
Anonymous Janet a dit...

Easy Tiger (Antonio),

I was actually starting to really respect you (and some of the YLC) for actually disagreeing with eachother. But when you get so defensive, it takes away from your point. Just something I've learned along the way.

I'm glad to see you are in disagreement and I think it's a joke that someone would consider running for leadership of ANY Canadian Party without being bilingual. It's just insulting. Especially because your pres is from Quebec (I think, anyways...).

I hope you guys don't work as a group to support one candidate. I think that is really poor for democracy.

But seriously, Stronach won't win. She just won't. A) she's a floor crosser (regardless of why, floor-crossing has received some really bad press lately; B) She's too right wing for a middle of the road Party - left-leaning moderates would go NDP... could harm the Party; C) I think there's a general consensus out there that Stronach just isn't capable - her communication skills are below average, she doesn't speak French; I think there's a perception that she's dumb and got to where she is because of her dad; and D) I think she'll be viewed as an elitist who is buying votes.

Regardless of whether those points are justified or not, I think they will work against her.

2/28/2006 9:44 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Did Brigitte support Belinda?

That certainly is...odd. To put it mildly.

2/28/2006 9:59 p.m.  
Blogger Danté a dit...

Liberal Hypocrisy? Perish the thought! Who ever heard of Liberals engaging in hypocrisy??!!

3/01/2006 12:31 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Looks like the honeymoon is over in Liberal land. It's fun to watch you guys implode, it really is.

3/01/2006 12:32 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

It is too bad that some people have made the decision to support a candidate that doesn't speech french, used to be a conservative (like a year ago) and doesn't understand many of the problems which the next liberal leader must deal with. I find it amazing that the YLCQ, with its numerous francophones have decided to support a candidate that doesn't understand their native language. What type of message does that send to the rest of the country.

However, in the end my choice for leader will not be based solely on language. Ideas in politics matter and after listening to Belinda saying nothing new in a new party i can't help but think she lacks the vision and brains needed to succeed to the highest office in Canada. Someone who hasn't completed university, in this day and age must be questioned.

Lastly, i would like to say that Brigitte and the YLCQ have made their decision but the people haven't. Hopefully, some will change their minds. If they don't it will be their loss, which i believe will be quickly followed by Belinda's at the convention to a candidate with ideas like Michael Ignatieff.

3/01/2006 1:08 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Or a candidate like John Godfrey...but a at least, both (Ignatieff and Godfrey) speak French, not as Belinda or Brison!

I completly agree with you Antonio, the YLC(Q) have to give their support to a strong bilingual candidate. A candidate with a vision for the country and a candidate who will understand our province as being different of others. We need a candidate with roots into the Liberal party, not someone who was with the PCC a year ago.

Nous sommes une province francophone où vivent plusieurs anglophones, comment pouvons-nous donner notre appui à un ou une candidate unilingue anglais?? Nous sommes le parti qui a mis au monde la charte des droits (ne sommes-nous pas les enfants de la charte??) et la loi sur le bilinguisme!! Le futur chef de notre parti et le futur Premier ministre du Canada se doit d'être capable de parler à l'ensemble de sa population directement, et non par l'entremise d'un traducteur! Imaginez-vous ça un débat des chefs lors d'une élection où le chef du PLC aurait un petit écouteur pour se faire traduire les propos d'un Gilles Duceppe qui grimpe dans les rideaux? Mettons qu'il y aurait un petit décalage dans la réponse!

Si nous voulons gagner la prochaine élection au Québec, si nous voulons regagner des comtés perdus aux mains des bloquistes et arrachés des comtés aux conservateurs, il est impératif que notre chef soit PARFAITEMENT BILINGUE, peu importe la situation à laquelle il est soumis. C'est une question de droit et de respect pour la population francophone canadienne.

3/01/2006 9:57 a.m.  
Anonymous choicechick a dit...

I know it can be easy to criticize someone's decision to support a particular candidate that you choose not to support, but how you choose to phrase that criticism is important.

By choosing not to say, "support my candidate" but instead to say, "don't support this candidate," for whatever reason, it becomes murky as to whether or not you think a candidate "should" be running.

If you don't want a unilingual candidate to be leader, support a bilingual candidate, but don't say that unilingual person "shouldn't" run to be leader. Some others in our party might not want another man to be leader, so they will support a female candidate. Do they think that men "shouldn't" be able to run?

Personally, I firmly believe that every member of the party has the right to run to be its leader, and every member of the party has the right to support who they wish.

If you have a problem with how that decision was made, then your post should probably have focused primarily on that.

3/01/2006 10:25 a.m.  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

PS- "choicechick" is me in case anyone didn't know ;-) it occured to me that people might think I was trying to be "mysterious" (Muahahahaha) which alas is not the case.

3/01/2006 10:28 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I knew it was you denise

but I would also ask you to point out where in the article I say Belinda shouldn't run.

Anyone who wants to run should run. However, not being bilingual should be fatal in terms of chances of winning.

3/01/2006 11:19 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Hi Antonio. This conversation is very interesting. I have a question. As VP Policy for the JLCQ, what do you and the Quebec Young Liberals make of Belinda Stronach's position that the voting age should be lowered to 16?

3/01/2006 11:33 a.m.  
Anonymous manitoba liberal a dit...

I really can't understand the mental leap it takes to think Belinda is a serious candidate for leadership of our party?

Maybe I missed the memo, but I thought the Liberal Party liked to win elections. Belinda would be a nightmare as leader. Anyone that wants to support a female candidate should support an actual Liberal like Martha Hall Findly and not allow Belinda to set back the cause of woman in poltics for a generation.

3/01/2006 11:46 a.m.  
Anonymous MississaugaPeter a dit...



Unfortunately it is so long it may not work. If that is the case, please go to TheStar.com, click Star Columnists, click Ian Urquhart, click Liberals eye education minister.

Now my 2 cents worth:

MSM (The Toronto Star) confirms what Liblogs have known for over a month: Gerard may run.

The only faults you are going to hear about Gerard were exposed:

"On the downside, he has been criticized as a "micro-manager" who drives his staff and bureaucrats crazy and an abrasive personality that has alienated some of his erstwhile supporters."

That's it anti-Gerard folks. He does not tolerate supporters who are not honest and/or are corrupt and/or don't know what they are talking about.

He is BILINGUAL. He has faithfully been a Liberal all his life (father ran for the federal Liberals in Manitoba). He is known and has roots across the Prairies and wife is an Acadian from PEI. NO CONTROVERSIES. Reluctant to run since 1) feels he has not finished what he has started; and 2) feels he is already making a positive contribution to society. He is not disliked by any group and liked by more than just Liberals. Expect many parents, teachers, and students who have not been political in the past to become involved (this is a good thing) and those who stepped away to come back!

If running, Gerard will organize a very positive campaign. (NOTE: his supporters will not be allowed to criticize anyone or even highlight other candidate's shortcomings. Gerard will not tolerate it (Note above comment). I stopped last night (since it is now March, I really stopped last month). I hope it is not too late. I PERSONALLY APOLOGIZE TO ALL THOSE CANDIDATES WHOSE SHORTCOMINGS I HAVE HIGHLIGHTED. I will do penance.

I believe Gerard's campaign would focus on listening to all Liberals and would be an inclusive, positive campaign encouraging renewal, feedback (listening and discussing), policy and uniting Liberals.

3/01/2006 12:23 p.m.  
Anonymous élie a dit...

The problem with Stronach is not the fact that she is completely unable to utter a word of French. Well, sure, that's a problem, but it should be considered as a specific case of the more general problem with her candidacy, namely:

What exactly has she achieved, other than being Frank Stronach's daughter? What are her qualifications for the job?

The answers to these questions, I'm afraid, are "nothing" and "none".

3/01/2006 12:27 p.m.  
Blogger Diamond Fan a dit...

Antonio, Denise etal,

The Draft Diamond site has weighed in on the Quebec scandel with Brigette and agree that a unilingual candidate can not be tolerated!




Keeping it Real!

3/01/2006 12:36 p.m.  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

Antonio, although never explicitly said she shouldn't run, but it's my opinion that by saying "Bilingualism in a candidate is a must" implies just that, that all candidates must speak both languages.

Also, can the person behind "draft diamond" pleeeease tell us who they are!?!?!? Curiosity is getting the best of me and I'm just dying to know!

3/01/2006 2:45 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I think it is a pre-requisite to being Prime Minister of Canada, and the Liberal Party leader usually is bestowed with that honor at one point or another in their tenure.

People underestimate Stephen Harper's French, it is actually VERY GOOD! He learned French very early, not just to become Alliance, then Conservative leader.

Also, people shouldnt learn French just to win a leadership, they should want to learn it on principle.

3/01/2006 2:54 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Belinda and Mark Hollland have been the biggest proponents of the vote 16 initiative. I was wondering how this policy will play in Quebec?

3/01/2006 4:57 p.m.  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

But don't you see, Antonio, that's the point. You think it's important, so YOU should choose YOUR leadership candidate based on that. I maintain that to force everybody to choose a candidate based on the criterion you set as "most important" is disrespectful of the entire process.

3/01/2006 6:05 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I think Belinda being less than a year removed from being a conservative is a better reason to find the idea of her being Liberal leader laughable than her lack of French skills.

Belinda and David Emerson have the same loyality and I can't belive so man life long Liberals are being suckered into suporrting her.

3/01/2006 6:15 p.m.  
Anonymous stephenharper a dit...

Wow. Harper's French must have really improved for Antonio to say that.

The last speech I saw him give had one line of French:

"Je vais traviller avec les minorites francophones pour regler le desequilinre fiscal"

That was it. And it made no sense and had no context. Local francophone reporters rolled their eyse and put down their pens.

It's one of the many reasons he is hiding from media and trying to get the press gallery to move toward the White House model of planted questions. That way he can give stock answers in either language.

But here's a question - has anyone seen an interview in french with any of Harper's cabinet members yet?

3/01/2006 6:24 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I think the fact that Belinda is paying people 100,000$ to organize for her will draw quite a few Liberals her way.

Which is good for her, because I can't see anyone logically supporting her on any other grounds.

3/01/2006 6:49 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...


She is getting smart people like Alcock and others to join her team, not out of belief that she is best for the job but because she has the cash to run a big organization.

3/01/2006 6:54 p.m.  
Anonymous Jamie a dit...

Denise, I totally disagree with you. I think there is a problem with your logic.

This is a bilingual country and the Party that brought bilingualism in, was the Liberal Party. Bilingualism is a value inherent to the Liberals. Sort of like supporting Women's rights or rights to ethnic minorities. To deviate from these fundamental values undermines what it means to be a Liberal.

I don't think it undermines the political process: could you justify a misogynist or racist running? Of course not because they go against what the Party stands for.

And last but definitely not least, not speaking French, but running as a candidate is just tacky and bad form; embarassing and arrogant. Just think of the hay day the Tories would have if a unilingual leader was elected?

I also disagree with your suggestion that if you are against a particular candidate (for whatever reason) you need to suggest an alternative.

Antonio is simply stating (or perhaps I'm confused and yeah, it does appear that Antionio is backpeddling a little) that a prerequisite for running should be bilingualism because it is an inherent value to the Party.

I don't see the obligation in having him support someone else right away. Perhaps he is just waiting to see who declares or what pans out in the future, but what he does know is that to be unilingual is to disrespect an important Liberal value.

3/01/2006 7:38 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Someone remembers this?


Totally (and sadly) mysogynist, but it displays pretty accurately the lack of intellectual seriousness and engagement of this woman.

Go Godfrey.


3/01/2006 7:44 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

"Could you justify a misogynist or racist running?"

Dennis Codre and Joe Volpe are going to run and they fit those catogories quite nicely.

3/01/2006 8:20 p.m.  
Blogger Alex Plante a dit...

Coderre a racist ??? The funniest comment today ! Especially if you know the support base of Denis Coderre in the riding of Bourassa.

3/01/2006 9:21 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Belinda Stronach se ferait dé-mo-lir par les Bloquistes. Si vous la choisissez, vous creusez votre tombe au Québec pour un très long moment. Le PLC deviendrait alors un "parti d'Anglais", un peu comme le NPD.

Mais au moins, ça serait drôle, très drôle...

3/01/2006 9:33 p.m.  
Blogger Denise B a dit...

Jamie, it's fine to disagree with my logic, but your diatribe doesn't even touch on the issue I raised.

Please attempt, for a moment, to ignore the attractive rhetoric surrounding the particular incarnation of this argument which, at the moment, is bilingualism. I support bilingualism and agree in its importance. I have lived in Quebec for three years now, I have taken advanced French classes for more than a decade, and I have worked in both official languages. But this ridiculous competition of who's more supportive of bilingualism is neither here nor there, so put away your measuring stick and your blatant self-rigteousness.

The issue here is whether or not it is bad form to criticize another's decision to support a particular candidate and imply that there should be rules about who can and can't run for the Leadership of the Liberal Party. That's the great thing about competition, it allows the membership at large to choose who they support and whose values they feel reflect their own. And so for all those who value bilingualism most highly, they are welcome not to support Belinda. But those who wish to support Belinda because of her strengths should be respected.

3/01/2006 10:14 p.m.  
Blogger Clinton P. Desveaux a dit...

Strange really, since the only bilingual province in Canada is New Brunswick, but alas I'm Acadian, what do I know...

3/01/2006 10:26 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Could someone please tell me what JLCQ's position is regarding lowering the voting age to 16? I know this is a youth orientated policy that Stronach is pushing.

3/01/2006 10:29 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

"But those who wish to support Belinda because of her strengths should be respected"

I don't mean to be a smart ass, but what strengths? I'm actually really curious as to what unique strength Belinda would bring as leader of the party? What does she bring that the other potential candidates lack? In what I've seen of her I have not been very impressed, but would be willing to listen to those that are supporting her because it seems like many people I know in the party are.

3/01/2006 10:46 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

But those who wish to support Belinda because of her strengths should be respected.

And what strengths would those be exactly? Seriously - I'm curious to know.

3/01/2006 11:47 p.m.  
Blogger decoin a dit...

B. Stronach will be the next Prime Minister of Canada. She has the funding to finance her campaign in a major way. She understands big business and she has the ambition to grasp and retain power, which is job one for every true Liberal. Although she is not yet fully bilingual, she is learning French. This isn't critical compared to our need to regain power SOON. There are many Chinese in Canada but how many candidates can speak Chinese so please keep the language issue in perspective. It is not such a big deal. Keep an open mind on Ms. Stronach. She will lead us back to power.

3/02/2006 1:58 a.m.  
Anonymous Alberta Girl a dit...

So being bi-lingual in Canada is NOT necessary to become Prime Minister.

Wow - I guess when you consider yourselves the "Natural Governing Party" you feel you can set the rules.

This from a party that would yell from the highest mountains if any other leader were elected without speaking french.

Oh the hypocrasy!!!!!

3/02/2006 8:17 a.m.  
Anonymous Jamie a dit...


I decided to be polite by simply stating I disagreed with you despite my wanting to say other things: kind of like you are a terrible journalist, that YOU are self-righteous, unintelligent, claim these big ideas without fully grasping a situation, or how about just plain childish and immature.

While I would love to elaborate on why I think some of the above statements about you, instead, I'll address your comments.

So I didn't touch on anything you were pointing at... perhaps you should make it more clear for people to understand... but OH! WAIT! That's right, you're a bad journalist. Got it!

Second, I have no doubt in my mind that Stronach supports the idea of bilingualism, but the fact that she can't speak both official languages is poor. Really poor. As a leader, you are representing the Party ACROSS Canada. If you can't speak French, you can't communicate with a significant part of the Party and you insult French speakers symbolically by not speaking their language.

I think the importance of speaking French is obvious and debating that is simply futile. But apparently you weren't talking about that.

Instead you were apparently addressing the issue of "whether or not it is bad form to criticize another's decision to support a particular candidate and imply that there should be rules about who can and can't run for the Leadership of the Liberal Party."

Alright then, let me try to explain this in simple words so you can understand.

During an important time where significant decisions are being made, dialogue and criticism is imminently important. It allows people to see different perspectives and shed light on issues. This is why, for example, we have the media and the Opposition in government.

And second, criticizing a person during a leadership contest DOES NOT necessarily imply there should be rules, although I believe there should be.

It is my view that the candidate should be in line with Liberal values: bilingualism, being one of them. Simply not speaking French is pretty poor. If it is always up to people deciding what is best, why have an Opposition or a Charter or a Court system. But I guess you didn’t think about that. Doesn’t surprise me.

3/02/2006 10:05 a.m.  
Anonymous Jamie a dit...


The difference between Chinese and French is that French is an official language.

3/02/2006 10:10 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...


If it's wrong to criticize someone's choice in a leadership candidate is it wrong to criticize someone's choice in a federal election?

Also, given the way the Martin crowd crushed the opposition last time, it's fairly obvious that they felt any choice but Paul was a wrong choice.

3/02/2006 11:56 a.m.  
Anonymous élie a dit...

Anyway, it's not like Denise ever bothers to write in French, so that "communicating with a quarter of Canada's population" thing should be played down.

3/02/2006 2:03 p.m.  
Anonymous Marc a dit...


The redoubtable Alec Castonguay reports in this morning's Le Devoir that the erstwhile champion of national unity has rounded up "one of the most elaborate organizations in Quebec" as the Liberal leadership race approaches. Alec says Stronach has rounded up Richard Mimeau, a leading figure in Jean Lapierre's, ahem, formidable Quebec organization; and Brigitte Legault, president of the federal Liberals' Quebec youth wing. Because the young, you know, they are so excited by ideas.

3/02/2006 2:21 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Poor Denise - it looks like more than one person thinks you suck...

3/02/2006 4:37 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

Hey, nobody who thinks Denise sucks has any credibility in my books!

I think Denise is right on this, although perhaps not for the reasons she gives. If a Francophone Quebecker is willing to support a unilingual anglophone, should we not see that as a step forward? Would it not be impressive if an angophone supported a uniligual Francophone for PM?

I am slowly coming to the conclusion that it is silly to say that leaders should not be able to use instant translation in their second language. Heck - a guy like Harper would probably get his message across better if he could use a translator during the French debate. What is inherently wrong with that? Why should anybody be so selfish as to care what lanuage the PM speaks?

To be clear, I am NOT saying that this is an unimportant issue. Indeed, I belive that the new Liberal leader will have to be able to argue in both official languages as of the date of the convention. It is a political necessity. I just think that, looking far into the future, Canada might be better off if more people think like Brigitte on this particular issue.

3/02/2006 4:45 p.m.  
Anonymous jamie a dit...

Jason, I can't take you seriously. Not speaking French and running for leader of the Liberal Party?

Christ! Don't you see something wrong with that?! I mean, we don't need to get all philosophical about this. It just doesn't make sense. So what if a tiny minority of French speakers support her - the majority probably find it crazy and insulting.

And of course you don't agree with Denise's reasons... because they don't make any sense. You know that, I know that, and if she hasn't figured it out yet, she's even more stupid than I originally thought.

3/02/2006 4:59 p.m.  
Anonymous élie a dit...

Would it not be impressive if an angophone supported a uniligual Francophone for PM?

Impressive indeed.

Look, Quebecers are used to living with Anglo political institutions run by Anglophones. The reverse is not true. Do you honestly believe Westerners would accept being governed by a unilingual francophone from, say, the Saguenay? If that were to happen, we would witness the worst possible outburst of anti-French hatred in this country.

Would Spaniards ever elect a unilingual Catalan-speaker? No. Would Italians ever elect a unilingual German-speaker? The answer is no. It's the majority that decides for the minority, not the other way around.

3/02/2006 5:23 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/02/2006 5:27 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Wow, even I didnt think we would get this far with a simple post but honestly jason,

You cannot run for leadership of the LPC and not speak French and expect to win. The Liberals have to rebuild in Quebec and we cannot do that with a unilingual candidate.

To me it is the wrong choice, but I respect her choice, I just think it runs against the interests of the youth membership, just my humble opinion.

3/02/2006 5:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Jamie a dit...

Elie, you are totally right.

It is so beyond insulting to even nominate a unilingual candidate.

Denise is arguing for laissez faire politics to take over this leadership quest, but in unrestricted democracy, there is the opportunity for massive abuses.

Having a unilingual leader, I believe is a huge abuse. 3/4 of Canadians are English-speaking, that means that 1/4 of Canadians would not get to communicate with the Liberal leader and possibly the future Prime Minister.

Of all the people out there, Denise should know this first. After all, she's always talking about how those with power oppress those with less power - women's rights, sexual rights of young people etc.

That's why I find it so foolish of her to argue that it is okay for a unilingual leader to run. But she's young and her opinions aren't fully developed. But what gets me is how fiesty she gets without fully grasping something. It just makes her look even more dumb.

But at the end of the day, I think people realize that. Or at least, I hope they do.

3/02/2006 5:42 p.m.  
Anonymous Jamie a dit...

You know Antonio, I really applaude you for standing up on this.

You stood up to your friend and your organization for what you believe in and you did it respectfully.

My biggest issue with YLC is that they are blind followers. You just proved me wrong. Kutos!

3/02/2006 5:51 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...


I think you're being a little harsr with Denise, she is simply pointing out she thinks everyone who wants to run should be allowed to run.

That being said, even Denise would not VOTE for a unilingual candidate would you denise?

After all the Liberal Party is in the business of winning elections (we were on such a good run too!)

To the defense of the YLC and YLC(Q) they are not ALL followers, while there is the one or two pragmatism or nothing, most people do get involved because they believe in something, whether or not they survive the wrath of the pragmatists, thats up to their stomach if they can handle it!

3/02/2006 6:37 p.m.  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

"The Liberals have to rebuild in Quebec and we cannot do that with a unilingual candidate."

I agree. I am only saying that in a theoretical sense this should not be an issue. I agree that it is an issue and it will be an issue for me when delegate selection comes, but that does not mean that it should be an issue.

Of course, none of this is relevant in the real world. I am just talking philosophically here. As I argue on my blog, it is also irrelevant if Stronach is able to drastically improve her French by the time of the convention.

3/02/2006 6:41 p.m.  
Anonymous jamie a dit...

Well, I might be harsh on Denise, but if she can't take it, she shouldn't dish it. And at the end of the day, I don't really care.

And I would for the most part think that many YLCs get involved for jobs - I was once there too! Many YLCs just follow the leader, but you're right, probably not all of them.

In any case, I think you have done well. Thanks for your commentary!

3/02/2006 7:28 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Without a proper grasp of English... let's see, I'm thinking a little guy from Shawinigan here...

someone help me out...

3/02/2006 11:39 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Look at the difference between Stronach and Brison. Both come from unilingual backgrounds but at least Brison tries his best to speak in French. He is taking intensive lessons.

Belinda? When she is asked the most basic of questions in French she asks to switch to English. Not smart, polite or very political!

Both are youthful Candidates. One is a great debater, the other has alot of money.

One has many new ideas, the other has alot of money.

One is building an organization from the grassroots through hard work and committment, the other is using their money.

3/03/2006 8:55 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

"Et je ne veux pas quelqu’un qui se pense bilingue mais sait juste prononcer des phrases pre-écrites."

I guess the Brison supporter can't read French. I know Antonio, he was complaining during Gomery that that the only complete sentence Scott Brison knew in French was his response to Gomery questions from the Bloc, that sentence was aimed directly at Brison.

3/03/2006 10:35 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Apparently I have fans.

Guilty as charged, that one was for Brison.

3/03/2006 1:42 p.m.  
Anonymous Jamie a dit...

Fans you have.

Support Ignatieff!

3/03/2006 3:15 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

I hear that Richard Diamond YLC Prez has joined with Bridgette in supporting Belinda?

Can anyone confirm this?

3/03/2006 3:17 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Stop spreading rumors about Richard Diamond. (Although his former boss regalcock is a Belinda supporter as well)

His draft guy has enough of us cracking up already. Me and Denise are dying to know who it is. I think we will put together a fund to find out who it is.

The rumors are unfounded. Besides, Diamond speaks more French than Belinda anyway.

3/03/2006 9:05 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Any rumor on how much Brigitte is getting paid?

3/04/2006 1:38 a.m.  
Blogger Parliamentary Sex Therapist a dit...

I've met Belinda many times. She was quite obviously only going through the motions when she went down to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to "study" French. Her failure to make becoming functionally bilingual her number one priority since being elected to Parliament speaks volumes about her committment to francophones. A troubling lack of respect there for the duality of Canada.

A mon avis, c'est de rigueur, qu'un pays bilingue comme le Canada, doit etre dirige par une personne qui est presque, ou parfaitement bilingue.

3/05/2006 10:53 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

Bon, j'ai fait le tour de presque toutes les soirées des candidats à la chefferie, il ne me reste que la soirée de M. Denis Coderre à voir, d'ailleurs¸il ne s'est pas encore déclaré candidat comme les autres officiellement bien qu'indirectement, ce qui me laisse perplexe, mais c'est bien au moins je vois pas trop d'opportunisme de sa part de la sorte, on dirait il étudie le terrain comme il faut et s'il est à la hauteur des fonctions et non du titre! J'ai confronté M. Ignatieff à certaines questions tout comme d'autres l'ont fait. Que de surprises que de le voir répondre en ne regardant pas dans les yeux les gens. Le voir regarder par terre dans la majorité du temps et le voir assis d'une manière vraiment pas à l'aise me laisse perplexe quant à avoir un chef, voire un premier ministre de la sorte. D'ailleurs, ces idées ne représente en aucun temps la ligne du parti libéral. Je le vois plus comme un gars de coulisse que d'avant-scène. Nous désirons un vrai leader. D'ailleurs, un élément que je n'ai pas trop observé en Bélinda Stronach. On dirait qu'elle était gêné du micro. Oui, elle sait regarder dans les yeux de son interlocuteur, mais on y voit une petite gêne. Je la vois bien dans le parti, mais pas à titre de leader, cela me laisse perplexe, je ne pense pas que c'est le genre de personne qui va venir imposer ses talents de leader si un conflit arrive entre deux personnes au sein du parti. D'ailleurs, je la vois pas rencontrer un autre premier ministre dans le monde. Très cute, pas mal sympa, je l'ai trouvé meilleure que M. Ignatieff, mais je la vois aucunement comme une leader. Je fus d'ailleurs très surpris que plusieurs ait déjà fait le saut avec elle sans débat ni vraiment la connaître. On voit qu'il y a pas mal d'influence de certains au sein de ce parti. Il manque un peu de leaders. Puis, je fus fort décu lorsque quelqu'un m'a dit que peut être que d'autres sont plus près du peuple, mais il faut aussi l'aspect économique qui va avec, soit être capable d'appeler les big shots du monde des affaires. Idem, lorsque j'ai vu l'argumentation d'un certain Richard Mimeau dans le journal La Presse (Les autres sont pas aussi bons qu'elle à prendre le téléphone et appeler les grands de ce monde) Désolé, mais sincèrement, c'est cette arguement qui a fait que j'ai fermé la porte dans le cas de Mme Stronach. Je veux travailler avec des gens qui ont des principes et qui au-delà de l'argent, ont le peuple à coeur. Finalement, n'oublions pas que le meilleur leader est celui qui sait faire face aux médias et qui sait comment discuter avec les gens et faire sentir chacun important peu importe le contenu de ses poches, pas celui qui peu agir de téléphoniste chez les big shots, ça prend plusieurs qualités pour être un chef). Cessons d'agir de la sorte, n'avez-vous pas tirer les lecons dernièrement, on voit que certains courent partout où l'argent se trouve. Quoi qu'il en soit c'est le peuple qui finit par trancher. En tout cas, il me reste un candidat "potentiel" à voir ses valeurs, ses principes, ses idées et son attachement au peuple et ses compétences économiques malgré tout. Une fois cela fait, et que j'aurais déterminé mon choix avec coeur et raison, je me dévoilerais publiquement, et j'embarquerai avec l'équipe que je suis en train de bâtir pour travailler dans sa machine.

3/15/2006 11:52 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous a dit...

we all know that you have been blinded by Ignatieff's false positions, but try to be more balanced in your postings. You are just dumping on Ms. Stronach because of your transparent desire to hoist Iggy to the throne. You ignore all of his Iraq-and-torture-supporting, and claim that everything is being misquoted. Trust me, that is impossible when the guy has written 16 books and critics need only quote the author. You claim that having a unilingual candidate will hurt the party, but I ask you to think about what having a pro-U.S., pro-Iraq, pro-Bush candidate will do to our country. If you had nephews in the military like I do, you would not be so ignorant and glib.

4/04/2006 12:52 a.m.  
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