Monday, October 20, 2008

Defining Dion: Why it worked

The Conservative were successfully able to define Dion for one simple reason. Dion’s English was not good enough and his accent very strong. Half of Dion’s sound bits were incomprehensible even to people whose first language was English. As for people who struggle with English, many would not have gotten a word he said. ESL students have a terrible time with accents and Dion’s was particularly pronounced. His inability to communicate turned him into a blank slate on which the Conservatives could write anything they pleased. The Liberal support in English Canada went down nearly 950,000 as a result. The Conservatives tried to pull the same thing off in Quebec, but Dion speaks French. The Liberal vote went up 94,000 there. The next Liberal leader must be able to speak both official languages flawlessly. That rules everyone from the last leadership convention out except for Rae and Ignatieff. Quebec will be key next election. Having a leader who speaks better French then Harper gives the Liberals the advantage there.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

When you write about someone's English skills, you open yourself to such criticism.

"Dion’s English was not good enough and his accent very strong."

That's poor English.

saskboy said...

I think you're onto something Koby, it certainly played a role.

Anonymous said...

"When you write about someone's English skills, you open yourself to such criticism."

Did I miss something? Is Koby running for the leadership of a major federal party?

Hishighness said...

It doesn't help that the party is broke. We need to learn how to fundraise like our Progressive neighbor to the South.

Ron said...

I really think this language thing is an overblown excuse and had only a small bearing on the outcome. We all remember Chretien and his language ability -- he was as mangled and accented as Dion but he could communicate an idea. Dion, in English or French, was not able to explain his policy. He was not able to communicate a vision or idea in either language -his votes may have gone up in Quebec but that is more likely for the same reason the Bloc recovered votes -- Harper threatened the art hand-outs and Quebecers won't let anyone touch their hand-outs. Many fled the Conservatives going to the Bloc and the Liberals --- The Conservative ads may have created a first impression of Dion but in over 2 years of being leader, Dion cemented that first impression with his lack of ability, competance and charisma. His resignation speech lacked class and showed no level of statesmanship - that impression is not the result of Conservative ads; it is the result of watching him in action.

Koby said...

>>>> I really think this language thing is an overblown excuse and had only a small bearing on the outcome.

It had a huge bearing on the outcome. It left him completely unable to fend off attacks or sooth people’s worries about the Green Shift. It rendered him a complete after thought in the English language debate. It is unconceivable that he would have been able to score points against Harper the way Elizabeth May did. He had enough trouble thanking those that asked the questions. This is a shame; for, Dion can debate; he just can not debate in English. It rendered him almost painful to listen to in interview. Finally it was commonly heard when Liberals canvassed. “Half his sounds bits are incomprehensible” is what a global TV reporter told me and I agreed.

>>>> his lack of ability, competance and charisma. His resignation speech lacked class and showed no level of statesmanship - that impression is not the result of Conservative ads; it is the result of watching him in action.

I agree. He has no skill as politician. And he had no charisma. He has nothing in other words to compensate for his poor English. As for his concession speech, I do not remember the contents of his speech well. All I remember thinking was announce your resignation already.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss something? Is Koby running for the leadership of a major federal party?

No, but he's criticizing someone for something he has just shown he is susceptible to. He doesn't have to be running for anything to be criticized for not being consistent.

-scott
thescottross