Stephen Harper’s Remarkable Achievement

Please Note: This is not an endorsement of Stephen Harper [Canada’s current Prime Minister].

Did you watch the French federal election debate last Friday?

If you did, you must have been impressed by Harper’s extraordinary command of the language. Without having to grope for the right word, he recited facts and figures as though French was his first language.

Do you remember Mackenzie King’s French? Diefenbaker’s? Pearson’s?

What a contrast!

If linguistic talent was the only qualification for the highest office in the land, everybody should vote for him.

But it isn’t.

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4 responses to “Stephen Harper’s Remarkable Achievement

  1. D’accord. Harper’s grasp of French is surprising. But he needs to be replaced in both official languages. Trudeau et Mulcair sont prets.

  2. I’m not sure I agree. When he speaks French, Stephen Harper has a very thick accent and makes many grammatical mistakes. I would think he sounds to the Francophone ear rather as Jean Chrétien does to Anglophones’. That’s better than any of the former PMs you mention, but not as good as his two chief rivals. In my opinion, one of THEM deserves the linguistic prize. (Maybe their bilingualism will come in handy when they begin talks on a coalition government later this month.)

  3. Michael Gundy

    In the Saturday Globe and Mail, Ian Brown remarked that Justin Trudeau speaks in French while talking in English, both with a lack of accent.

    • but some French-language commenters have said that Trudeau is stilted in French… Does this mean he doesn’t speak either language completely fluently? He certainly sounds fluent to me in both.