Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

Why No ‘No’?

Posted by JJ in Strategic Planning (Friday February 23, 2007 at 10:12 pm)

Stephen Harper’s assertion that the Liberal line on terror provisions is self-serving is, to begin with, nonsense. It’s fair to say that no party in Canada has taken a policy stand purely to benefit a single member’s interests. The problem is in the Liberal response.

No, not demanding an apology — that’s good.

It’s not saying ‘no’.

Thursday night’s “As It Happens” featured a lengthy clip of Liberal Leader Stephane Dion in its “For the Record” segment. Dion was responding to a reporter who asked whether the allegation was true.

At length, Dion discussed how inappropriate the question was (it was), but utterly failed to utter the simple word ‘no’. Instead, the Liberals returned to the house to allege that:

This is a Prime Minister who apparently will say anything to get elected and will possibly do anything to hold power.

You see, saying that is bound to make Harper less popular because choosing power over scruples is something the public thinks politicians don’t normally do. Of course, in the real world, it might be suggested that merely by answering Harper’s question, Dion would validate it.

Nonsense. Answering it doesn’t make it any inappropriate, childish, or unimpressively over-the-top. Acknowledging that with strength doesn’t cost anything. Who knows — it might make you look strong.

Most importantly, it lets you say something clear and direct for a change.

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