Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ah, Winston!

I just spent a chunk of my day that I should have been working watching a rather well-done biopic of Winston Churchill called "Into the Storm", apparently made for HBO. Quite well done, and it inspired me to once again go and listen to some of his speeches. Quite a bit more entertaining than my current work on tipping points in the gold standard exchange system, at any rate!

That said perhaps the rise of Obama, something that was certainly not the most likely political outcome even a couple of years ago, has served to remind everyone about the power of language when deployed by a good speaker. So many of our public figures these days are poor orators, and it is my view that our public life suffers for it. Public figures communicate less than they should, in part because they do it poorly and know it. (yes, I'm looking at you misters Stelmach, Harper et. al.) When they do speak many people listen less than they should, because, to be frank, the listening isn't worth the trouble most of the time.

Some work on rhetoric, in the classical sense, seems to me to be something that would have a healthy impact on the body politic. I can always hope, right?

A good selection of Churchill's speeches can be heard and downloaded here:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bill 44 still waiting...

Well, it appears that in addition to the uncertainty it creates for teachers Bill 44 is also going to be enacted at an uncertain time. link

It now looks like the law will not be proclaimed until 'October or November', some 6 months after the legislature passed it. While I am certainly in favour of this piece of bad law not being enacted, it is capricious on the part of the government to delay proclaiming it. Either it is a piece of legislation they believe in and is ready to enact, or it should never have been approved. Delaying its proclamation simply magnifies the uncertainty already being felt by those who may be impacted, as now they cannot even be sure when the rules change.

For those interested in the issue I include a link to Ken Chapman's blog, where he continues to keep close track of the Bill 44 issue as it moves forward with his 14 August post. link

It looks to me like the government is doing one of two things. Option one is that they are, belatedly, working through the potential legal fallout of the bill with their lawyers. Option two is that they are holding off until after the Alberta PC AGM this fall, at which they can either genuinely debate the issue, or perhaps push through a motion of support from the party. Both would seem to involve the government engaged in doing something that should have been done before Bill 44 was ever brought forward for 3rd reading.