Stephane Dion raises expectations of his debate performances

More than a year ago Stephane Dion predicted that he will be victorious in both the French and English leaders debate that Canadians will watch tonight and tomorrow night on the television networks.

Also, on the popular French-language show Tout le Monde en Parle just a few days ago on September 28th, the following exchange took place,

GUY A. LEPAGE: Les débats des chefs en français et en anglais auront lieu les 1er et 2 octobre prochain. On vous reproche beaucoup de ne pas bien maîtriser la langue de Shakespeare. C’est votre premier débat comme chef libéral. “Aren’t you afraid that your lack of knowledge of the English could be a handicap in this campaign?”

STÉPHANE DION: Yes, je n’ai pas compris. Non, ce que je dirais là-dessus, c’est que moi je dis la vérité bien mieux en français et en anglais que Stephen Harper et pour ça je vais gagner les débats. (“On that, I would say that I speak the truth better in French and in English than Stephen Harper and it’s for that reason that I will win the debates”)

Stephane Dion has confirmed his debate prediction that he made over one year ago; the Liberal leader predicts he will win both English and French language debates. Now that Dion has set the bar high for himself, should he fail to win both debates will the press note that he failed to meet his expectations? Will the Liberal war-room fool anyone when they claim Dion “clearly won tonight’s debate”? What are you expecting from tonight’s French language debate?

Comments

comments

  • http://djxtreme-seashell.blogspot.com/ SeanMcAllister

    I don't speak french so will have to wait till tomorrow night, but I'm sure I'll hear all about it before then. In regards as to expectations. I can't help but compare this plagarism episode with his green shift platform, basically taken word for word from David Suzuki. His green shift and carbon tax “save the planet” scheme is based on a work of fiction. There are many occurences in the past I have come across that show, if not prove, that leaders from different country's have dialogue about their positions in private before a public anouncement. In fact, it has been mentioned that the U.S might have issued a “guideline” for other Leaders to use if they chose. Back to expectations, I suspect there will be some boys in red outside the studio with some shovels waiting for the end of the debate.

  • Brett

    The Liberals appeaar to be fighting the last election, what with the sudden appearance of the ghost of Paul Martin and linking PMSH to George Bush. It may play well to their base, but in the end , knowing that Bush is gone in a couple of months and that we will likely see Obama as President, I think that Canadians will see this for what it is, desparation.

  • Paul

    Unfortunately I don't speak French… it would be nice to know if Dion sounds as confused in French as he does in English … judging by his popularity in Quebec… I bet he does…. I'd also like to see if Jack Layton sounds a duplicious in French as he does in English … I'm sure he'll have another bunch of “conditional” gifts for everyone.
    It was a treat getting introduced to you blog this am on CBC… thanks.

  • JamesinMoncton

    Isn't the most basic lesson in politics to under-promise and over-deliver?

  • cbcfan

    amateur mistake!!!!

  • Bubba Brown

    I don't speak French so, I will wait for the English debate. The Liberals seem to have gone pretty flat, I understand that Paul Martin and his “team” are now assisting Dion? As the Liberals insiders have been complaining for some time now that Dion “listens to no one ” I would like to be a “fly on the wall” at “the Liberal war room” These guy lost an election with a host of very negative ads and no platform, other than “Harper eevil” If this is Dions choice he certainly has “Joe Clark Instincts” all sown up. I think the “green shift” is a “silly solution” to an imaginary problem. The two leading gurus of the Climate Catastrophe fable, have multiple residences, I think its Suzuki's ambition is to have a mansion on every gulf island two & counting. Gore one of his mansions uses 20 times the national average hydro, and he just bought a 100' houseboat with a jetski hanging off the back, lead by example or be branded a charlatan. Sure doesn't make me want to live in a cave, or pay some sill-ass tax.
    we are better off with Harper.
    Cheers Bubba

  • ROCCO

    Does anyone know how the french debate is different from the english debate… besides the language of course!

    What are the issues in Quebec as opposed to the rest of Canada?

    Is Duceppe expected to be the winner?

    Does Dion suck in french too?

    Does Elizabeth May even speak french?

  • Gabby in QC

    The Liberals and their supporters love to dig up past statements made by Stephen Harper in order to resurrect the “hidden agenda” meme. Strange they didn't come across a letter then-opposition leader Stephen Harper wrote to the Washington Times to counter some conclusions drawn in an op-ed published there.

    In said letter, dated Dec. 11, 2005, Mr. Harper states his position unequivocally on various salient issues. You can find the full text of the letter here:
    http://www.vcn.bc.ca/~dastow/harper-wtimes.txt

    Here is what Mr. Harper said on Iraq:
    “On Iraq, while I support the removal of Saddam Hussein and applaud the efforts to establish democracy and freedom in Iraq, I would not commit Canadian troops to that country. I must admit great disappointment at the failure to substantiate pre-war intelligence information regarding Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction.”

    Of course, resurrecting past statements made by Stephen Harper have become the main preoccupation of the Liberals' war room, aided and abetted by friendly media. Yet the same friendly media are able to smile benignly at Mr. Ignatieff's pro-Iraq stance, his pro-torture position, and his accusation of Israel committing war crimes in the 2006 battles with Lebanon, not to mention other damning positions held by other illustrious past and present Liberals. Of course, those can be dismissed as youthful escapades.

    P.S.: I sent this same information to a great impartial columnist at the G & M. I'm sure he will rush to point out the contents of Mr. Harper's letter to his readers … sarcasm off.

  • http://loreweaver.btblogs.ca lore_weaver

    Well, debate winning is so subjective. Everyone can come out saying they won, unless they very clearly lose (like Turner did).

  • not_like_u

    Well, Gabby, Harper was on the record and unequivocal at the time (2003) that we wanted Canada to take part in the coalition of the willing. The evidence is manifest in print and in video and audio.

    That he recognized the problem later and tried to unwind his earlier position is udnerstandable, but most people would see that for what it is – yourself obviously excluded.

    Interesting how 5 years ago is “ancient history” when it comes to Harper, but entirely fair game when it comes to opponents (17 years ago for Rae/Ontario, 15 for sponsorship, 25 for Trudeau/NEP).

    I guess whatever works for you – no intellectual honesty required.

    Oh, incidentally, when can we expect to see the fully costed Conservative platform?

  • Charlie

    He will win because he will confuse voters as per the usual Liberal tactics. All we will hear from DION in the debates is something like this” Its very simple Green Shift will lower taxes”. ” Lower your taxes, Green Shift is not a tax, simple lower your taxes” ” Green Shift will lower your taxes….etc……………

    Dion has probably rehearsed these few lines so that he speaks them in near flawless english and the CBC will play it over and over and over. All we will hear about is how well Dion did with the above sound bites. Sadly, this will fool many Canadians and the Libs will squeak thru with a smal majority, after all they promised everyone everything to the tune of over $80 Billion.

  • Gabby in QC

    Regarding Mr. Dion's expectations.
    Dion has often stated he loves to be underestimated because he has always exceeded people's expectations. Well, here's a Quebec op-ed where his so-called success in exceeding expectations is questioned:
    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/le-droit/opinions/200

    It is pointed out in the column that Mr. Dion, contrary to the “underestimated” tag he has proudly hung on himself, was recruited from a comfortable university professorship, enjoyed a prominent position in cabinet under Mr. Chretien's tutelage, was given another important portfolio under Martin, ran in a riding that has been solidly Liberal since its creation in 1952, gained much prominence around the post-1995-referendum debates, and received wide acclaim in the RoC for the Clarity Act.
    He is also praised for chairing the Montreal conference on climate change, even though it did not do much to advance the environmental cause.

    All of Dion's previous successes may have contributed to his winning the leadership, with the RoC membership hoping those past successes could re-energize lagging Liberal fortunes, but in actual fact he failed to meet expectations: local Liberal Quebec riding associations are in shambles, donations have dried up, and he has been largely unable to attract all-star candidates. In other words, he was overestimated since he won the leadership.

  • East of Eden

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Whew. Thanks so much for that huge belly laugh. You made my day.

  • East of Eden

    The “fully costed” platforms of the other parties are pie in the sky figures. Kind of like the green tax being revenue neutral. The city of ottawa has now asked dion to modify his green tax so that the city does not incur an additional 3.5 million dollars in costs as a result of this revenue neutral tax. So, the costing, like the boasting is just that – boasting, fluff, fictional. As for a fully costed conservative platform – I believe we already know what Stephen Harper's direction is and most Canadians, it seems, are quite happy with it.

  • East of Eden

    Speaking of the Green Shift lowering taxes…sure. But what about municipal and provincial taxes? Ah, forgot to mention that, did you? Sure, Stéphane, sure.

    Councillors Warn Liberals Green Shift Will Cost $3.5 million
    Josh Pringle
    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    Two Ottawa City Councillors suggest the Liberals Green Shift plan would cost Ottawa taxpayers at least an additional $3.5 million.

    In a letter to Liberal leader Stephane Dion, Doug Thompson and Glenn Brooks say preliminary research into the impact of a carbon tax on Ottawa's operating budget has “alarming results.”

    They claim the Liberals carbon tax would increase OC Transpo's diesel fuel bill by $2.74 million, and Ottawa's fleet vehicle budget by $791-thousand.

    Thompson and Brooks ask Dion if he is prepared to amend the tax to mitigate the new costs that the Green Shift plan will impose on Ottawa's “already tight budget.”

  • Gabby in QC

    not_like_u, I'm very definitely not like you.
    I happen to rely on FACTS; unlike you, I don't function from a visceral hatred of anything associated with an opposing point of view.
    According to people like you, because I happen to favour a conservative party which holds conservative views and proposes a conservative ideology – horrors! that word which stems from IDEAS – is considered as UNCANADIAN, and of course, intellectually dishonest, incapable of reading anything beyond a pre-school primer, etc.

    Perhaps you failed to notice the date of the letter I referenced: 2005. Count backwards: three years ago. Your heroes have very selective memories.

    And you omitted from your list of “ancient history” the Lukiwski episode, the Reform and Alliance roots of the Conservative Party – as if that were some nefarious movement – the “firewall” letter which you likely did not even read let alone comprehend, the “defeatism” comment ditto, and others far too numerous to mention.

    As for Harper being “on the record and unequivocal at the time (2003)” so was Tony Blair, who you may have forgotten is NOT a neo-con, ultra-right wing ideologue out to sabotage the planet, as that master of euphimistic pronouncements Mr. Dion has repeatedly stated.
    “A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.” Winston Churchill

    As to when we can expect the fully costed Conservative platform, I don't know, since I don't work for the party, but I expect it to be done in good time. Unlike other platforms, however, I expect realistic and reachable objectives, not pie-in-the-sky promises.

  • Steelers36

    Some of you are real dumb – sorry but true. Where have you been in past elections?

    You will find the French debate broadcast on television (try CPAC for example) and on the internet with translation, just as our fellow Canadians in Quebec will be able to watch a translated English debate. The French debate just won’t be broadcast nationally on the major channels.

  • C. Murdock

    Dion will show his mastery of the Quebecois language, but Harper will show that when it comes to explaining his priorities and his intention to govern responsibly and fairly for Quebec, Ontario, western Canada and all the other regions alike, he can do just fine in French, his second language. Harper's accent is not perfect, but it has improved significantly. And another thing that is obvious is that everyone is going to gang up on Harper, unless something like the marijuana comments, the 9/11 comments, etc., get the other parties bickering amongst themselves…Harper wanted simply to survive the debates. He might do better.

  • http://conservativeinnewbrunswick.blogspot.com/ NB Tory Lady

    Stephen…can you email me please at
    beaumonk@yahoo.com

    there is something I need to run past you
    —many thanks

  • http://voteforenvironment.ca Craig Hubley

    I'm expecting:

    Stephen Harper to lie, as usual, and attempt to look calm and “Prime Ministerial” while lying. You know, the same way Bush looked when he lied about WMDs in Iraq or Saddam being in league with Al Qaida. On every subject of any importance from the economy (where he will deny the danger of the US meltdown to Canadians or any need to, for instance, follow the US on regulating or even disclosing Credit Default Swaps or following the EU on requiring intermediaries to hang on to 5% of the risk they resell) to the war in Afghanistan (where his Minister Maxime Bernier sabotaged Afghan democracy and may have enabled the Kandahar prison break that seems to have snowballed into what the UK ambassador now says is a lost war) to The Green Shift. Harper will continue, for instance, to refer to it as a rise in ordinary people's taxes or a tax that applies at the gas pump, both of which are easily proven false.

    Four people, one probably faltering (May), will attempt to unravel confusing lies in the time they have, which is not adequate. They will stomp on each other to some degree. Dion will have the most trouble staying on topic due to his hearing problem. He'll shine when he gets a minute of guaranteed air time, especially if he's angry – as he should be, being the most derided and attacked and lied-about figure ever in the history of our politics.

    Duceppe will hit hard on culture, on the war, and Bernier may become an issue even in the debate (Couilliard said he left enough secret NATO documents in her house to “wallpaper” it). Racism in Harper's cabinet may also come up with Pierre Poilievre and Darlene Lannigan (aide to Lawrence Cannon) being named by Duceppe, and the infamous “ghettoes” sneer Harper made about Asian immigrants and eastern Canadians living out West. Duceppe will say several times that he's the only reliable choice to be sure to stop a Harper majority and the subordination of Quebec. He may mention the possibility of Quebeckers sent to die at President Palin's command (statistically, McCain has two to four years to live) and PM Steve's obedient snivelling following-on.

    Harper vs. Duceppe will probably dominate the debate's early phases. Jack Layton''s absurd rhetoric (“today's families” and referring to the Liberals as out of touch and ineffective) won't go over that well, nor will his claim to really “be” a Quebecois – NDP numbers will probably drop after the debate. However, each time May or Dion speaks, it's going to cause an uncomfortable desire on the part of Layton or Harper to change the subject fast.

    Duceppe, if he fears a majority, may favour May and Dion and keep coming back to points they raise, even agree with them from time to time. May will probably stick to relatively safe statements, name-dropping, citing influential experts and academics (Suzuki, Stern) and major global institutions (UN, OECD), backing up Dion on every point she can (like Obama's “I agree with Senator McCain”) and struggling to catch Harper's lies en francais so she can respond. But likely Dion will catch the lies first and hopefully respond more like a cop than a professor, not being friendly and inviting the student to reconsider, but demonstrating the futility of telling the lie.

    In English, the situation will be reversed with May scoring the points and Dion struggling to agree and back her up, Duceppe probably feeling more comfortable simply to score points on Harper and Layton whom he now sees as his main opposition among bilingual Quebecois. He may mention the Liberals' sponsorship troubles in English and en francais, Dion's attempts to limit Quebec's claimed unilateral right to separate with the Clarity Act. He will detinitely bring up Harper's “gala, gala, rich gala” sneer and dare Harper to repeat it en francais.

    Harper will only be declared the winner by shills, who will call him “Prime Ministerial” and “the only one with any dignity” or “the only one who refrained from attacks” or something. They've already written those columns BTW.

  • Don Van Galen

    Plagarisim. Wasn't it Dion himself that stole the copyrighted name “Green Shift”. Causing the owners to sue the Liberal Party. Successfully apparently, as they had to settle. To his credit, Harper fired his speech writer. Maybe the Libs will fire Dion?

  • VCan

    As far as I saw 4 out of 5 leaders sounded reasonable in the debate…

    Supports Oil Companies over the Environment > Conservatives

    Wanted us in the Iraq war with Bush > Conservatives

    Called Canada a “welfare state in the worst sense of the term” > Conservatives

    Thinks that the economy “has sound fundamentals” (same as Bush thinks) > Conservatives

    Will take action on the environment now > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will ban military assault weapons on our streets > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will support child care for those who have to work can't afford to stay at home > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will lower taxes on middle class and instead tax polluters > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will invest in green manufacturing jobs so that we have manufacturing jobs > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will help cities with Transit and Infrastructure > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will give tax breaks to companies who keep our jobs in Canada > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Basically boils down to this…

    C L N B G
    Y
    Y
    Y
    Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y

    Remember that the Conservatives came from the Alliance and the Reform (2 racist parties)… You align yourself with the people you believe in!

    So for the rest of us, we should demand for a coalition government from the left. Only 35% of Canadians vote for the right while the rest vote for the left.

    If the majority vote left the we deserve a govvernment that we voted for.

    Demand a coalition of the left or we're stuck with Harper!!!

  • VCan

    As far as I saw 4 out of 5 leaders sounded reasonable in the debate…

    Supports Oil Companies over the Environment > Conservatives

    Wanted us in the Iraq war with Bush > Conservatives

    Called Canada a “welfare state in the worst sense of the term” > Conservatives

    Thinks that the economy “has sound fundamentals” (same as Bush thinks) > Conservatives

    Will take action on the environment now > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will ban military assault weapons on our streets > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will support child care for those who have to work can't afford to stay at home > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will lower taxes on middle class and instead tax polluters > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will invest in green manufacturing jobs so that we have manufacturing jobs > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will help cities with Transit and Infrastructure > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Will give tax breaks to companies who keep our jobs in Canada > (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc)

    Basically boils down to this…

    C L N B G
    Y
    Y
    Y
    Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y
    N Y Y Y Y

    Remember that the Conservatives came from the Alliance and the Reform (2 racist parties)… You align yourself with the people you believe in!

    So for the rest of us, we should demand for a coalition government from the left. Only 35% of Canadians vote for the right while the rest vote for the left.

    If the majority vote left the we deserve a govvernment that we voted for.

    Demand a coalition of the left or we're stuck with Harper!!!