How They Said It
How bad was Layton's French? Dion couldn't stop from correcting him when, for the third time, Layton confused milliard and million (billion and million). Layton also confused mille with million (thousand and million).
The masculine/feminine screw ups could probably be forgiven by many listeners, but it seemed he got them ALL wrong. He made it worse by mentioning his Quebec routs. Seriously, dude, make an effort.
I think what threw off Jeffery Simpson is that Layton often pulls off the Quebec accent. But that is not a good thing when you don't master the language. I would qualify Layton's French as understandable. Harper's French is better because of the way he speaks (slowly).
French on a scale of 1 to 10:
-Harper (better grammar than Layton): 5
-Layton (better accent than Harper): 4.5
-May (Tony Blair has better French): 2. (Apparently 0 when it comes to understanding franco-Ontarians).
On this scale, I would rate Dion's Eglish a 6 and Ducepe's an 8.
Isn't it ironic that the most bilingual person at the table is the leader of the separatist party?
What They Said
By the way Jack, Exxon employs 800 people here in Moncton. If you are going to mention an evil company in French, mention one that isn't a major employer of urban Acadians!
Layton was given little time to explain why he wanted to leave Afghanistan, but he didn't even try. He could have scored points there. Although at least he made it clear he was the only leader in favour of an immediate pullout. Dion made a good case for staying in Afghanistan, unfortunately, he also mentioned half a dozen other countries Liberals will be sending soldiers to. Yikes!
All three leaders made it clear that Harper's 2011 pullout deadline was fictitious.
Layton was pleased that nobody was condemning the Afghan leadership for talking to the Taliban. Hopefully, listeners can read minds (or faces) because he was unable to express his thoughts comprehensibly of that subject. Although if you knew that Layton had been called crazy for proposing talks with the Taliban, you could figure out what he was trying to say.
That isn't very good French...