Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Monday, January 22, 2007


When rhetoric and action don't match

If Stephen Harper's government is as right-wing as Stéphane Dion says, then how can he even consider supporting the budget expected to be tabled in March?

You're going to hear Stéphane Dion contradict himself a lot in the coming weeks as the life of this minority Parliament hangs on the fate of the next budget.

In the recent past he has already accused Harper of:

a) Being too ideological.

b) Changing policies because of polls.

Well, can you really be both? If you don't want an ideological leader, having one that changes with the polls is a good thing, isn't it?

Now, born again Liberals like Warren Kinsella and Manchurian Candidate Liberals like Jason Cherniak want people to believe that any criticism of their precious leader is the result of a vast right-wing conspiracy. But it doesn't matter. Either Dion has it or he doesn't. It doesn't matter what the rest of us say about it. Really.

It's just my opinion — and not that of Tom Flanagan or Karl Rove — that some of the early indicators are not good for Dion, and that the talking points he will embark upon soon will seem more like they come from Paul Martin than Jean Chrétien. Why? Because the former didn't know what he believed. I'm not sure Stéphane Dion does either.

UPDATE (2:14 pm): By the way, I watched the Dion interview referenced above. His English needs work. He told Jane Taber, "Thank you to invite me." He also tends to use "you" instead of "we" when speaking in generalities. My high school French is awfully rough, but I suspect he's looking for an English equivalent of the French pronoun "on". Of course, there is none.

Is it enough that people know what he's talking about? No. Saying things properly is important for someone who wants to lead a people who mostly speak English as their first and only language. Is Dion saying things properly enough in English? I don't know. I get some sense that some of the gaffes he has made have been the result of a language gap. And his English is such that it probably won't improve a lot before the next election, especially since he's been an Ottawa politician and a federalist for a very long time. If he's not better than this now, he's not gonna be much better any time soon, if ever.

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