Politicians: You never learn anything by talking
Barry Artiste Op/Ed
Recent media coverage whereby Liberal Leader Stephane Dion has been chastised for his inability to be understood in English, versus his native tongue of French has targeted unfair criticism against Conservative Leader Steven Harper by the media. Harper focused more on Dion's lack of info on his party platform, not his language, though in part if you watch the interview Dion had with the media, it is understandable to see where Harper was coming from.
Plain and simple, Dion's interview in both official languages was a farce, and though Dion wanted a Do Over, Canadians learned volumes from his interview.
Duceppe of the Bloq Quebec for the most part hit the nail on the head when he stated politicians of all parties have difficulty conversing in their non native tongue, so went a little too far by stating the English butcher the French language more so than the English. But then Duceppe can revert back and forth between the English and French with ease, so perhaps it is more easier for him to say, as many Canadians are not as fluent or as conversant as he is when articulating in getting his point across.
As far as I am concerned it matters little whether you are fluently conversant in both languages as the mettle of a man are his actions, intelligence and honesty, language abilities, though important in some aspects do not a "Great Politician Make".
Dion, an academic, seems sincere and intelligent, it would be nice if people and media concentrated on those aspects than his diction.
All Canadians have an accent to some degree, no big deal in the big scheme of things if you ask me.
(Photo Insets by Ryan Remiorz of Duceppe, Adrian Wyld of Dion, Tom Hanson of Harper / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Dion hit with linguistic double standard: Duceppe
Updated Fri. Oct. 10 2008 6:57 PM ET CTV.ca
News Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe defended Stephane Dion Friday as the Liberals and Tories continued to trade sharpened political attacks over the Grit leader's muddled English-language interview.
On Thursday, CTV Atlantic broadcast an awkward interview in which Dion struggled to understand a question and asked to start over. "I think it's just unacceptable to criticize Mr. Dion's English," Duceppe said, adding that the prolonged political fallout is indicative of a double standard in Canadian politics.
Duceppe said that French-speaking politicians are forced to speak perfect English while Anglophone leaders are allowed to butcher their French. "I think when we compare Mr. Dion's English with the French of other English leaders or ministers . . . I think he's getting better."