End of the week miscellany
Looks like the congressional elections in the States this fall might prove to be interesting.
With the rise of the über-right-wing-nut Tea Party whack jobs, the GOP nominations are facing ideological splits, and this may harm them mightily at the polls.
It encourages me to see that there is still some sanity within the ranks of the Republicans.
Question – Why doesn’t McDonald’s sell hotdogs? It seems like it would be a no-brainer.
Here at home, Harpy seems to be trying to dare the Opposition into forcing an election through a non-confidence vote over the detainee documents issue.
While the robot was initially all “sure, whatever the Speaker has ruled is something we’ll live with”, he has now backpedalled…
Initially, Harper said he “looks forward to complying” with the ruling, adding that he’ll consider any reasonable suggestion that will give MP’s access to the documents while protecting national security.
But he later said that the government may prevent the release of all of the requested documents.
He also said that the other parties can have a vote of non-confidence on the matter, possibly sending Canadians to the polls.
No big surprise, though. The politics of cynicism is Harper’s specialty and if he senses a bullying and polarization opportunity, then he will go for the jugular. Don’t take the bait, dudes of the Opposition… it is exactly what the Harperites want!
Question: If you had an envelope that someone told you contained the date of your death, would you open it?
Bilingualism in Canada’s Public Service has long been a sticking point for unilingual folks. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be bilingual to get a job in the PS, but you do have to learn your second language if you want to advance up the food chain.
The latest debate is about whether new Supreme Court Justices should be bilingual.
Bill C-232, a private-members bill, would require that any future Supreme Court justice “understands French and English without the assistance of an interpreter.” It passed the House of Commons last March, with the opposition MPs uniting against Conservative MPs, and is now being considered by the Senate.
As long as we have the English/French duality in this country, we will have debates like these. But as long as Canada is n officially bilingual country, we need to require those in charge of the ship of state to be capable of communicating in both of the founding languages.
Yet, like we can see with the language requirements in the PS, many very well-qualified people would be automatically excluded from the bench of the highest court in the land because they cannot conjugate an irregular French verb. And that to me is a pity. Only 7 per cent of Anglophones outside Quebec speak both official languages, and most of those live close to the Quebec border, meaning that if you are a highly qualified judge who is from somewhere west of the Ottawa valley, your chances of being a Supreme Court Justice are slim unless you are one of the rare ones who speaks both languages.
The fear in this matter is that there is always a danger that language will trump everything – including ability – and that while we may appoint a judge qui peut dire «il faut que je sois bilingue», they may not necessarily be the best person for the job. Me, while I do support the requirement that senior members of the PS and those who interact with the public on a daily basis need to have level of proficiency in both languages, I don’t think the argument that “a unilingual English judge has only limited access to the large body of legal commentary and scholarship written in French” is strong enough.
But that’s just me.
Question: How do you handcuff a one-armed man?
Finally, here’s hoping the Habs make a quick exit from the playoffs! If there is one thing more annoying than Sen fans, it’s a fan of les glorieux (moi, je préfere les pathetiques…)
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