Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Importance of Small Omissions

Numerous commentators have stated that the bits excised from the Grewal Tapes are "irrelevant" and "moot", after all, the tapes still confirm the perfidy of the Liberals.

However, as this article from the Halifax Herald points out, it is important recognize that language is a subtle thing, and a few words omitted can radically change the meaning of a sentence. A simple example - "I cannot offer you a job" changes dramatically in meaning by dropping two syllables: "I offer you a job".

Now that the - alleged - complete Grewal Tapes are available, we can start considering the full context of the tapes and the conversations they contain. As a few analyses have shown already, the conversations are as damning to the Conservatives as they are to the Liberals.

However, voters must also consider the actions of those that acquired the tapes in the first place, and decide whether or not their actions represent the "honest, upright, moral" people that the Conservatives have long claimed to be.

As a voter, I'm perfectly aware that the Liberal Party is corrupt, or at the very least drunk on its ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. However, I cannot say that the lies and misdirection coming from Harper and his advisors makes me feel more comfortable with them. A recent poll on party leadership underscores that more Canadians feel this way than just me.

Reasonably, I'm willing to concede that the current release of the Grewal Tapes is likely to be authentic. While I think that the Liberals need to do some house cleaning, I will also assert that the Conservatives have an even bigger problem. Not only is the party's credibility now suspect, Harper himself is now visibly damaged as the leader. Not only has he publicly backed the actions of his MP, people in his party have clearly been lying about events. Not only must a house-cleaning take place in the party, but the party is also obliged to make its message something other than "The Liberals are Corrupt".

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