May 15, 2006

I didn't say it...

"If you're unable to win a debate in French, how can you win an election,"

-Stéphane Dion in Vancouver last week

Everyone knows MY opinion on the issue, however, this is the first leadership candidate to say so...interesting indeed

14 Commentaires:

Blogger calgarygrit a dit...

Well, I agree 100% that you need a candidate who can hold his/her own in both debates.

That said:

Stephen Harper did not win either French debate in 2006

Paul Martin did not win the French debate in 2004

Jean Chretien never won a French debate to the best of my recolection.

5/16/2006 1:08 AM  
Blogger Vincent Riccio a dit...

He's right you know...

5/16/2006 6:59 AM  
Blogger s.b. a dit...

The debates aren't that important and how many watch the one in French, znd how many swing seats are there up for grabs in francophone Quebec? Take away Montreal from your claculations for a moment. I think the leader needs to speak Frtench, but win a debate in French No.

Ed broadbent used to win all the debates, his party never held power.

Chretien could barely be understood in either language and certainly would fail vocabulary and grammer bilingual tests in English, but he was a great politician.

I disagree.

5/16/2006 7:18 AM  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

Maybe that's why the BQ kept getting so many seats.

5/16/2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

Imagine the horror of a leadership candidate who didnt speak English, he/she would be laughed out of town.

The Bloc jumps on this as a sign of the lack of respect that the Rest of Canada has for Quebec.

It's a crock, but I have heard the argument for as long as I have been involved in politics

5/16/2006 1:05 PM  
Blogger EX-NDIP a dit...

The left seems to have trouble saying anything truthful in any language!!!!!

5/16/2006 2:02 PM  
Blogger frenchie a dit...

How about, if you're unable to speak English clearly in an English debate, how can you win an election?"

5/16/2006 4:09 PM  
Blogger Peter Loewen a dit...

So, CG thinks being able to hold one's own in a debate is important, but he supports Kennedy. Sorry, but good-enough-to-work-in-a-federal-job-in-BC french isn't going to cut it against Duceppe.

GK's people have made a lot of the Globe saying he wasn't bilingual, when indeed he received the equivalent of a D-. It's just not good enough for the leader of the Liberal party.

5/16/2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger Peter Loewen a dit...

Incidentally, anyone who suggests debates don't matter needs to read Johnston et al's Letting the People Decide.

5/16/2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger calgarygrit a dit...

Peter;
1. The Globe guy said Kennedy was bilingual.
2. He also said Kennedy was the most likely to improve.
3. Kennedy is spending a lot of the summer in Quebec.
4. Kennedy's wife and children speak French so he can practice at home and with them.

Therefore, I don't see any reason he won't be at least at Harper's level come the next election. And since Harper held his own in the French debates this time, I don't see any reason Kennedy can't.

5/16/2006 7:51 PM  
Blogger Peter Loewen a dit...

Calgary Grit:

He won't be able to learn French sufficiently over a summer. To be clear, French is a tough language to learn. Fluency isn't something you pick up over a summer. It's not a sun tan.

Harper was at Kennedy's level of bilingualism in 1996. He's worked hard on his French since 2002. It takes time, not a summer vacation.

Whether the Globe said Kennedy was bilingual or not is really beside the point. This, it is clear, was totally lost on Kennedy's people, who would rather win a debating point then admit that they dramatically oversold their candidate's French ability. The point is this: Kennedy doesn't speak French at an acceptable level, despite having a wife and children who purportedly speak it at home. I think this says something about his future prospects.

5/16/2006 10:36 PM  
Blogger Jason Cherniak a dit...

Again, we need a person who can win the French debate. That hasn't happened since Pierre Trudeau.

5/17/2006 8:18 AM  
Blogger MPM a dit...

The Globe "study" on the ability of the candidates to speak French was dumb.

If you read it carefully, you'll see that the author's scoring system is rudimentary and hardly scientific.

She graded someone, for example, a "2" and admitted that even a few hours of training could bump a person from a "2" to much higher.

Given that every single candidate will be wokring very hard on their French during the campaign, and even harded if they win, what use is an unscientific, subjective snapshot?

No one person or leader is going to get the Liberals back to government. A return to the grassroots for policy and fundraising is what is needed. Let's not remember that the Conservatives have a boring, dull, ignorant leader but they follow a political formula and it seems ot be working for them.

If they can do it with Stephen Harper was leader, we can put in a brick and and be able to win ...

5/17/2006 11:51 AM  
Blogger calgarygrit a dit...

Peter; The Globe guy made it clear that the candidates could certainly improve.

It seems every single person in Canada has become a French expert of late and their opinions on other people's abilities, their abilities to improve, and the importance of French are very influenced by who they happen to be supporting. I'm probably no different there, but I do feel Kennedy's French is around Harper's circa 2004. And given that he's got pottential to improve and will have lots of time to practice, I'm confident he'll be in good shape by the next campaign.


JC; Trudeau hated election debates and hardly ever held them. The few we did have during that time period, he never won, in either language.

5/18/2006 7:05 PM  

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