Monday, December 28, 2009

Ixnay on the earning-lay

Referring to a talking point that seems to be of questionable merit, coming from Ignatieff yesterday and numerous times of late. In talking about the early fall tactical shift to opposing the government on confidence matters, he's taken to positioning himself in the learner's role, a shade too much for comfort:
“Canadians were in the middle of the toughest recession in 25 years,” he said. “They want an alternative to the Harper government. What they didn't want is someone talking about an election. And somehow we got stuck with the idea that we wanted an election at any price.

“And I think Canadians said, ‘Come on. Get out of here. Come back when you've got an alternative for us.' And I'm listening. I'm learning. I'm getting better at this.” (emphasis added)
Put me down as uncertain about the wisdom of this talking point. Facing Mr. Harper, I'm not sure it's helpful in the least to have someone continuously refer to himself as learning. Listening, ok. But the learning part, that is not reassuring when facing a ruthless Machiavellian operator of the highest order.

What's wrong with, "I'm listening, we're working hard to give Canadians an alternative, earn their trust, etc., etc.," without the constant learning aspect that seems to undermine the confidence that is sought to be gained?

But who knows, maybe somebody knows something about this magic word and it's meant to appeal to voters. In the meantime, I squirm every time I hear it.