Warning to Liberals: look what happened to the NB NDP

Unilingual Liberal Leadership Candidates: Wrong Party, Wrong Country.

NDP English Speaking Disaster
The NDP elected an English speaking person of many talents as their leader. Speaking or understanding French was not one of them. The French speaking population that makes up 30% of the province's population said a loud and clear "Non-merci" to Madame Dewar.

Fluent in two weeks
Many in her party figured she would learn enough French by the time the elections came around. Bernard Lord sprung an election a year earlier than expected. Dewar said it was OK, she was going to spend two weeks in an intensive immersion course in Quebec City. That outraged many (would be the equivalent of Ken Dryden going to France to learn French).

Acceptable Level of Fluency
Learning a language takes a lot of time and effort. Nobody expects the Canadian Prime Minister to be as fluent in both languages as were Pierre Trudeau or Brian Mulroney. But if you can't have a dumbed down for TV debate in both languages, if your French is worst than Steven Harper's or Stockwell Day's, then clearly you are not ready to lead the Liberal Party of Canada.

Required Skill
An Administrative Assistant with impeccable grammar would not get hired if he or she couldn't type. Why do some think that a unilingual Canadian could be Prime Minister?

Guide to Minimum Fluency Requirements
Here is a guide to help you sort out your readiness for the Top Job:
1. If Her Majesty the Queen of England and Canada decides to show off her French, could you keep up?
2. If John Kerry decides to show off his French, could you keep up?
3. Could you keep up in French with Kelsy Grammer (the guy who plaid Fraser)?
3. Is your French better than John Turner's or Kim Campbell's?
4. Are you more bilingual than George Bush?

If the answer to any of those questions is NO, then you are simply NOT ready to lead any federal party, much less the Liberal Party of Canada. To think otherwise is an insult to French-Canadians.

Wrong Party
People who support unilingual candidates are simply in the wrong federal party. To bad the Reform Party is dead, because that is where you belong.

In case you haven't figured it out, here are the leadership candidates who have an acceptable level of English and French: Stephane Dion , Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae and Joe Volpe.

If any of the other candidates win, then next election I'm voting for the Bloc Québécois. Which won't be easy considering I live in New Brunswick.

Applicants must speak French



Other Blogs:
The next leader of the Liberal Party has to be more bilingual than ... ;
Acadians criticize Liberal candidates for their poor French ;
How bilingual is your favorite Liberal candidate? ;
Liberal leadership debate ;
Le showdown au Québec (English) ;
Irate Acadian Woman Yells At Liberal Leadership Candidates ;
Job ready ;
Quebec Connection ;
Which Liberal Leadership Candidates are "Bilingual"? .


Miles Lunn said...

I think a Liberal candidate must meet the two following conditions to be considered bilingual

1. Be able to debate in both languages

2. Be able to answer questions in the House of Commons in both languages.

I don't mind if someone is a bit slow or has an accent, but they should at least be understandable. In the case of accents I should note even amongst English speaking Canadians accents vary depending on what part of the country they come from.

And BTW, If you want to provide a translation for the Volpe petition into French, I will happily post the French version. I put that in English only, simply because I cannot speak French, not because I am against bilingualism. Unfortunately here in Vancouver, it is very difficult to learn French due to lack of exposure to the language. I wish I could speak it, but I cannot.

Anonymous said...

Your post is a little over the top when you consider that Stephen Harper does not have fantastic French and won seats in Quebec.

I am sticking with Kennedy. His French will improve every month and it is getting better already. We cannot pick our next leader on the basis of who speaks the best French. We need to start winning more seats in the West too. Martin spoke great French and the Party is a disaster in Quebec.

nbpolitico said...

Hey AVG - despite what I keep hearing in the media, I am bilingual and have heard Gerard Kennedy speak in French and have spoken to him in French.

I think he is a lot more bilingual than people seem to give him credit for. If you read the French media - including Acadie Nouvelle when Kennedy was in NB in May - they say he is bilingual.

Looks like a bad case of the English media getting spun by the other candidates.

Altavistagoogle said...

NBpolitico, I don't have a stack of Acadie Nouvelles in my living room, but if you give me the date of the article, I'll make a trip to the library to check it out.

Here is what I found on the Internet:
?In a party that had a paucity of qualified bilingual candidates, Gerard Kennedy or Scott Brison?s French might pass although Ken Dryden?s would not, even in those reduced circumstances. But in a party that offers a perfectly fluent trio of top-tier candidates, aspirants whose second language turns to gibberish under pressure simply don?t make the grade.? Chantal Hébert.

Radio Canada: http://tinyurl.com/efxrn

Journal de Montréal: http://tinyurl.com/kbnyo

L'Express de Toronto: http://tinyurl.com/huf4d


Liza Frulla, ancienne ministre influente du gouvernement Martin, avait dit espérer que Hedy Fry, Ken Dryden, Martha Hall Findlay, Joe Volpe, Carolyn Bennett, Scott Brison et Gerard Kennedy retirent leur candidature.

«Pour la profondeur du débat, pour le bien du parti, je pense que certains candidats ont fait un bel effort, mais il est temps qu'ils laissent leur place. Cette course se joue entre Stéphane Dion, Bob Rae et Michael Ignatieff. Ça n'a pas de bon sens. Il faut épurer la ligne», avait déclaré Mme Frulla.

nbpolitico said...

AVG - I also responded to your comment on this subject on my blog. I do not know the date of the Acadie Nouvelle in which this was but one assumes it was around the same time as this quote from the TJ which was a result of a scrum Kennedy did with the NB legislative press gallery:

"(Kennedy's) main connection to Atlantic Canada is his marriage to an Acadian from Prince Edward Island. He handled interviews in both English and French with ease on Friday." - Carl Davies, Telegraph-Journal, May 13, 2006

Also, here is a more recent piece I found on a Google News scan:

"(Kennedy's) French, while not flawless, was 'better than Harper?s,' a bilingual friend assures me." - Ross Moroz, Vue Weekly Magazine, September 20, 2006


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