September 15, 2007

Mulcair Set to Kick Off Orange Revolution

The Link goes to print Monday at midnight so I have to write a results article anyway.

This was what I submitted for yesterday's event at Mcgill.

Mulcair Set to Kick Off Orange Revolution

Makes McGill Appearance with NDP Leader Layton

Former Quebec Environment Minister-turned NDP candidate Tom Mulcair addressed about 100 students at McGill University Friday. Locked in a tight by-election race with Liberal Jocelyn Coulon, Mulcair appeared with NDP leader Jack Layton in an attempt to help get out the NDP vote at McGill.

Layton and Mulcair addressed the touchy topic of post-secondary education. Layton believes the debt students face after graduation is akin to "placing a millstone around the neck" of our students. Whilemaking sure to respect provincial jurisdiction with regard to education, Layton and Mulcair said they would work with provincial governments to allow more accessibility to the post-secondary education system.

The Outremont by-election has mostly been fought on two issues: the environment and the war in Afghanistan. Layton addressed the NDP's position on both topics quite clearly. He said that after thirteen years of Liberal inaction, only the NDP can bring effective action forward on the environment and end the 1.2 billion dollar subsidy to the Canadian Oilsands. Mulcair's experience as the provincial environment minister has won him support across party lines and has helped him pull ahead of the Liberals in recent polls.

On Afghanistan, Layton faced some criticism over the NDP's controversial position of an immediate withdrawal of Canadian soldiers from Kandahar. Citing Canada's proud tradition as a peacekeeping and peace-making nation, Layton said "there is less security right now inAfghanistan than there was before Canadian soldiers got there." Layton also stated that if "Canada is going to play a leadership role in making the peace in Afghanistan, we have to stop fighting."

Several students objected to this position, claiming Layton was abandoning the Afghan people. One student asked "How is it responsibleto negotiate with the Taliban, a group who has repeatedly ignored several UN resolutions in the past?" The student also asked how Jack Layton could want negotiations with the same people who harbored the group behind the 9/11 attacks. Layton turned the tables on the student, claiming the United States was no better at respecting UN resolutions. A slight murmur was heard in the audience as Layton equated the Taliban to the United States.

The by-election is beginning to heat up with only days left before the citizens of Outremont head to the polls. Mulcair is confident he will win, saying Outremont is "Ground Zero of the Orange Revolution."Mulcair took some shots at his opponent saying Coulon is suffering from the "weak leadership of Stephane Dion", and that Outremont voters see this by-election as a chance to send a message to Stephen Harper and to the Liberal Party, who have generally held the riding for most of the last 100 years. Layton took an extra jab at the Liberals, referring to their green election signs as an "identity crisis."

NDP members at Concordia are confident their guy will prevail. Meanwhile, Liberal Concordia president Tarek Assaf believes the NDP will not get enough of their vote out in order to win, saying "when push comes to shove, depending on the student vote to win is risky business".

Voters head to the polls Monday September 17th.

10 Commentaires:

Blogger Erik Abbink a dit...

One student asked "How is it responsibleto negotiate with the Taliban, a group who has repeatedly ignored several UN resolutions in the past?"

Well, with that kind of reasoning we should cease all talks with Israel too.

Fuddle Duddle, there must have been some students there that had far wiser things to say than the student you've quoted. I'm puzzled why you would put this nonsense on your site. Is it your Liberal bias that's playing up?

9/15/2007 7:12 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

I'm reporting what happened erik

I believe I was more than fair to Tom and to Jack.

The question was asked...

9/15/2007 7:18 p.m.  
Blogger Red Tory a dit...

I can certainly see that exceedingly dumb question being asked and it's unfortunate that Jack chose to answer it in the way that he did. As I said over at my place, he should simply have told the student that it was the wrong metric to use because by that measure we wouldn't be talking to a whole lot of countries.

9/15/2007 9:04 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

guys I said a few students objected, in fact very few, not more than a handful in a full room of over 100 people.

Layton's long answer was sort of what you suggested RT, but Layton did lead with the US example, and if I recall correctly, there was some light applause

9/15/2007 9:10 p.m.  
Blogger Erik Abbink a dit...

Layton's long answer was sort of what you suggested RT, but Layton did lead with the US example, and if I recall correctly, there was some light applause

See, you initially didn't report what happened. This is essential information! By leaving out essential context you're leaving out what matters most.

This begs the question why you would want your readers to believe that the argument was followed by a a "slight murmer" (whatever that means) when there actually was a "light applause" in support of Layton.

9/15/2007 9:53 p.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

erik what I reported is what happened.

the answer was longer than what I said.

I reported both sides of the issue. The part the crowd found popular, and the part some found unpopular.

9/15/2007 10:13 p.m.  
Blogger Erik Abbink a dit...

erik what I reported is what happened.

..and you left out essential context (some students agreed with Layton)

the answer was longer than what I said.

..I had know idea there was a space limit on your blog

I reported both sides of the issue

No you didn't. You turned the "stupid" question into a Layton vs students fight (turned the tables, murmer about equation), when in fact "the students" were at least divided on the issue (hence the clapping of some).

In other words, you're giving Layton not enough credit for correctly refuting the student's (not students') "stupid" argument/attack, and the students not enough credit for seeing through it (the clapping showed that they're fortunately not all stupid)

Why, one might ask? See the end of my very first comment and we can all agree that the answer to the question is positive.

9/16/2007 12:11 a.m.  
Blogger Antonio a dit...

sigh erik

this is an article i submitted with a 500 word limit

i copy pasted what I submitted...

"Several students objected to this position, claiming Layton was abandoning the Afghan people."

at least 3 questions were asked regarding the issue. One student specifically brought up the UN resolutions.

When I say several students objected, I didnt say the whole room erupted in protest...

there were many times when people applauded Layton...with a 500 word limit, did you want me to stop and say every time it happened...

I reported quickly the short version of what happened...pure and simple...if I had 3000 words to write, I could have gone on and on.

They touched on three topics: education, environment afghanistan. I summed up what was said. The only topic where the students (in their questions) disagreed with Layton was on Afghanistan, so I felt it necessary to report that. There was a murmur in the audience when he mentioned the United States in response to a question about the Taliban. When Layton wrapped up his answer some 30 odd seconds later, some students agreed and a few applauded. I never implied there was mass criticism from the crowd. All I said is on this position he faced some criticism...because in fact, he did...

Liberals were also outside protesting a water deal Mulcair once supported. I didnt feel it was important enough to fit in the 500 words. What to report is always at the discretion of the reporter, especially with a limited time and space involved.

I decided that question was the one which raised the most eyebrows. People applauded pretty much at the end of any answer. You know, polite applause.

I never misled, just reported what happened. You can twist and search all you want for bias, but you won't find it. I was very fair to Layton and to Mulcair.

9/16/2007 12:46 a.m.  
Blogger Erik Abbink a dit...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/16/2007 2:36 a.m.  
Blogger Erik Abbink a dit...

After your latest comment (explanation) I do have to say you made some valid points.

I must have misread "Layton turned the tables on the student"; I seriously thought it said "Layton turned the tables on the students" (plural). So therefore I attacked your account of the event harsher than I should have, apologies for that.

On the other hand, I still think you're hyping a controversy over a "stupid" question, something we see far too much in the North American press. Yes, Layton's equation probably got some response (slight murmur) but so did Layton's refuting of the stupid question (as did his other answers), which you chose not to include.

I believe that a journalist is not only a reporter ("I'm reporting what happened"), but also has the task to guide his readers through the event, showing where crucial arguments are being made or refuted.

Then, perhaps, as a society, over time, we can move from one situation to a better one.

But only if you believe in progress, of course.

9/16/2007 3:27 a.m.  

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