Sunday, November 4, 2007


Rhetoric can be defined as: Artificial eloquence; language that is showy and elaborate but largely empty of clear ideas or sincere emotion.

OR also as: Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous: His offers of compromise were mere rhetoric.

So what exactly is political rhetoric? I found this link to An English Primer. It is a glossary translating political rhetoric into plain English by Thomas Sowell. It appeared in National Review, Dec 31, 1985 v37 p17(1). Some examples from the glossary follow:

Crisis: Any situation you want to change.
Bilingual: Unable to speak English.
Non-judgmental: Blaming society.
Compassion: The use of tax money to buy votes.
Insensitivity: Objection to the use of tax money to buy votes.
Simplistic: An argument you disagree with but can't answer.
Rehabilitation: Magic words said before releasing criminals.
Demonstration: A riot by people you agree with
Mob violence: A riot by people you disagree with.
Obviously, there is humour in Sowell's glossary.

It has been impossible to get around the rhetoric of anwers and issues in this election. The SaskParty wins first prize for the most rhetoric.

Here is what Brad Wall had to say in a recent story about Wall's promises to young people in the Moose Jaw Times Herald:
“The NDP tends to educate and export,” he said.
“We need a plan to train and retain. We are the only party whose platform includes long-term funding for post-secondary education. It includes all post-secondary institutions, including the Palliser campus of SIAST.”

The article continued:
“There are two tight races here in Moose Jaw,” he said.
“We’ve got two great candidates here and we want to support their efforts. They are excellent representatives for our party and would make excellent MLAs.”

What does this have to do with my life, and what does it mean? RHETORIC! (language that is showy and elaborate but largely empty of clear ideas or sincere emotion)

From my week




Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I can't say that I agree because I beleive Brad Wall's promise to give $20,000 to graduating students over 7 years has credibility. Furthermore, he is completely correct, the Sask Party was the only party that stretched beyond the university campuses and inlcuded the trade schools in their youth retention programs. They won't get $20,000 because they didn'y pay that much for tuition, but they will still get thier tuition rebate. I can't beleive the other parties simply ignored the trade schools when there is sugh high demand for them in our province.
So cheers to Brad Wall, Warren Michelson, and Gwen Bietel; three great people who love their province enough to subject themselves to the ridicule that comes in politics. Also, congragulations to Warren Michelson, a person who was elected by the people, for the people and through his hard work, dedication and strong family values will be a great representative for the people of Moose Jaw North.

TSS (The Smart Saskatchewanian)

Trees for our children... said...

I don't think a couple token good promises outweigh all the environmental and maternal health costs...

especially in regards to social, inter-generational, and non-human justice...

12,000 (after taxes) or less for postsecondary graduates does not justify the toxic legacy their children will be raised in...

(as byproduct of further and intensified uranium mining, oil sands extraction... and the probability of a nuclear reactor!)

If your such a 'smart saskatchewanian' then don't let yourself be so easily fooled by the status-quo-reinforcing notion of progress as short term dirty monetary profit.