Sunday, September 24, 2023

John Robson: In democracy, we can shout back — in either official language

The argument for democracy is, famously, that it beats the alternatives hollow because we get to talk back. Including when it comes to dealing with, oh, I don’t know, a potentially catastrophic new disease.

For instance this big brouhaha over the federal Tory leadership including Peter MacKay being mocked for his lousy French which he forgot to study. (A word of advice: If you love languages, or federal office, practice before you blurt out “J’ai sera candidate” and don’t even get credit for defying gender stereotypes. You can’t learn French in a month, and francophones notice if you’re faking it from grim necessity.)

As to those pesky belief things, some candidates like MacKay reject labels so we won’t know they’re left wing. Others, like Erin O’Toole, call themselves “true blue” so we’ll think they’re sort of right wing except on stuff like handing us free money. And frankly I’m all for labels provided they’re appropriate, because I’m all for consistent ideas.

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