Monday, December 04, 2006
As much as some commentators believe that Dion's English is better than often assumed, I still wonder if it's good enough, or if it's ever going to be good enough. He's been in Ottawa for almost ten years. He's been in a race for the leadership of the Liberal party for almost one year. Yet here we are today and, when he gets excited, it's still hard to know just what he's saying en Anglais.
From what I understand, Dion's English is better than Harper's French. The latter will undoubtedly be to Dion's advantage in Quebec. However, both the English language and the rest of Canada represent the majority in this country. Furthermore, English Canadians are not as accustomed to Ottawa politicians struggling with their language as French Canadians are. Yes, there was Jean Chretien, whose recent historical impact will lessen the challenge for Dion. However, Chretien's English was not only better than Dion's, it allowed him to convey his unique personality to the rest of Canada. I'm not sure if Dion can come close to doing that. Time will tell.