Tout le monde en parle (Simple Plan was on) is a hugely popular talk show that plays Sunday nights on Radio-Canada (SRC). 1.5 million people regularly tune in to the show.
Bernard Patry, Gerard Kennedy's chief Quebec organizer, said yesterday in the Toronto Star that he wouldn't put his guy on the show "because they kill everyone".
Bernard Patry also advised Gerard Kennedy not to do any French media interviews over the summer, while he worked on his French.
The irony is the same day the Gerard Kennedy adviser's "because they kill everyone" quote appeard in the Toronto Star, Michael Ignatieff appeard on the show (recorded Thursday).
By all accounts, Ignatieff did very well (I didn't see it). Given that today is a holiday, the best I could come up with was this quote from Pascale Lévesque, entertainment reporter for the Journal de Montréal.
Michael Ignatieff a sûrement réussi ce qu'un leader de ce parti n'a pas fait depuis longtemps: soit s'attirer des sympathies au Québec. «Êtes-vous le sauveur du Parti libéral ou l'agneau sacrifié?» lui a demandé Guy A. «Je ne suis ni l'un ni l'autre. Les sauveurs du parti, ce sont les militant, les bénévoles.» Comme c'est gentil. N'empêche, on sent qu'il a une réelle sympathie pour le Québec. La seule chose qui lui fasse peur ici, c'est Air Canada, qu'il qualifie de pas très courtoise. «Parfois, j'ai le sentiment qu'un des liens qui nous unissent en tant que pays, c'est notre mépris pour Air Canada.»
Translation (by me):
Michael Ignatieff has without doubt achieved what no party leader had done for a long time: attract sympathies from Quebec. "Are you the savior of the Liberal Party or the sacrificial lamb?, asked Guy A. (Lepage) "I'm neither. The party saviors are the supporters, the volunteers."Well isn't that nice. Nevertheless, we sense real sympathy for Quebec. The only thing that he is afraid of here is Air Canada, which he says isn't to courteous. "Sometimes, I feel that the thing that unites this country is our contempt for Air Canada."
An other example of the reaction is from MisterP who wishes he was a Liberal so he could vote for Michael Ignatieff. He writes in French: "I have no idea if this successful interview will have an impact on Quebec delegates, but they should think twice before waisting their vote on Dion."
I think Bernard Patry gave Gerard Kennedy some terrible advice. Being ignored as irelevant is far worse than being branded a unilingual. Kennedy should have spoken to the French media over the summer and he should definitely appear on Tout le monde en parle.
1.5 million viewers! Even if 85% of viewers hate your guts, that still leaves a good chunk of support. And this is a populist show, one that the Journal de Montréal covers in a play by play the next day. Radio DJs talk about it all week. And you have the watter cooler effect.
The only people that die on Tout le monde en parle are the totally ridiculous, like Radio-Canada's former president with his "Defecation is better than sex" or the Raelien cult leader with the funny head gear and extremely odd opinions on just about everything. Almost everybody else comes accross as human.
If Gerard Kennedy really wants to connect to Quebeckers, he will stop being a chicken and appear on Tout le monde en parle, inadaquate French, centralist views and all.
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