Friday, January 18, 2008

Is Bilingualism Dion's Problem?

Stephane Dion's ability to communicate in English isn't poor, it's awful. His skills in the first language of most Canadians are awkward and halting. He struggles to find the correct word. Sometimes he says things he later has to retract.

On Afghanistan, Dion clearly talked about NATO getting involved in Pakistan. He now says he didn't mean military action inside Pakistan but that certainly was the impression he gave in his comments. That's also the way the government of Pakistan took Mr. Dion's words, calling his suggestion "irrational."

Pakistan's High Commission released a scathing rebuke. "We are dismayed by the statement of the leader of Opposition. It shows a lack of understanding of the ground realities."

Mr. Dion does not connect with the Canadian people, not even in his home province. He trails Harper and Layton by a large margin in polls.

At this point, the Liberal Party should not expect to form a government under this leader. This is one point on which the party and the Canadian people are seriously at odds.

The Reuters news service is running a story this morning claiming that the Liberals are eyeing an election and claiming that their chances of ousting Harper have improved. Why not? Let's get it over with. Stephane Dion has had plenty of time to establish himself as a leader in the eyes of the Canadian voter. Might as well let them have their say.


Anonymous said...

The news story I saw showed Dion making those Pakistan comments while speaking in French, pretty hard to blame that on his poor English skills.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with what Dion said. If you read the text of what he originally said, he implied having NATO troops go in as support to the Pakistan government and with the full support of Pakistan. This is the exact opposite of an invasion.

However, the media generally likes to blow things out of proportion and the Cons are well, very effective at manipulating words to create buzz. A good example of this is the constant supply of crap the American media has been spewing regarding a racewar between Hilary and Obama.

This is all crap, and to be honest promoting like this is simply playing into their hands. Dion said a completely reasonable statement, which is simply being twisted for Con benefit.

And you just helped them out a bit. Good job.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sorry but I'm not going by news stories but what I and the average Canadian voter hear from Mr. Dion every day.

I'm clearly not as partisan as you and I'm sure as hell not going to refrain from commenting on Mr. Dion lest it help the Tories. If I think we need better leadership, I'll speak my mind.

The Tories have their own problems with Harper and there are dozens of posts on that on this blog if you care to read them. We ought to be grateful they have Harper - he's about all that stands between the CPC and a majority. said...

Look you can criticize Dion's french, english, or whatever, but if you're going to do it, do it critically and not like a sensationaslist tabloid writer. Quite honestly this is a poor post.

Dion's english has nothing to do with his position on Afghanistan nor with anybody misinterpreting it. You can criticize Dion all you want, but do it without the attempt at headlines.

Out of 6 paragraphs only one even falls under your headline, the other five belong to a post on criticizing Dion for Afghanistan.

Also if you want to discuss poor english skills, "He now says he didn't mean military action inside Pakistan but that certainly was the impression he gave in his comments." So the impression he gave was that he didn't mean military action inside Pakistan?

Here's one reader who won't bother to read your sensationalism.

The Mound of Sound said...

Actually, of the 6 paragraphs ohly two refer to Afghanistan. The balance deal with Dion's fluency in English and his connection with Canadian voters. By the way, don't worry too much about this or any other post really damaging the Libs or aiding and abetting the Cons. The general public doesn't come to Liblogs. At most there's a gaggle of Libs and a smattering of Cons and I doubt my views are going to cause any radical shifts in either camp, so relax.
As you're on your way, anon, all the best.

The Mound of Sound said...

I think I should make one other point. Every job requires a certain skillset. The more important the job the greater the skills and aptitudes that are generally required. One of the fundamental skills in political life is oratory. A politician without powerful oratory is akin to a secretary incapable of word processing. A secretary can be incredibly bright and well-intentioned but those qualities are undermined if that person lacks the ability to process communications. That person shifts from being a potential asset to a direct liability. At the political level, without skilled oratory, leadership becomes almost impossible. That, I'm afraid, is Mr. Dion's Achilles' Heel. A leader is more than a mind. A leader is a voice that utilizes that mind and a person who stands as a figurehead, a beacon for the party.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

At the political level, without skilled oratory, leadership becomes almost impossible. That, I'm afraid, is Mr. Dion's Achilles' Heel.

I couldn't agree with you more.

It's a similar situation with John Tory, albeit a different Achilles' heel. Or perhaps it's the same - Too idealistic. Too straight-forward.

And of course, Dion just can't communicate.