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The Calgary Eye Opener Wednesday, October 21, 2020
!%@From the Long Bar at the Alberta Hotel@%!
The Sask leadership debate and the lost art of speechify'n and oooratoory
by Fly-on-the-wall on location

30-Oct-07 -
Not five minutes ago, Johnny Ware, Calgary's #1 Cowboy, drove a herd of longhorns south on 1st Avenue right by the Alberta Hotel. Leaving a wonderful serving of my favorite food - tonterias - that's what us Spaniards calls 'em - my favorite in the gastronomical version - even better in the metaphorical. So, on First Avenue, right in front of the Alberta Hotel, I'm feasten' meself on tortillas de tonterias when, out from between the swingin' doors of the Long Bar, is served up a mess of metaphorical tortillas - via the sonorous, ya-can't-miss-it - the unmistakable - voice of Paddy Nolan:

Askkk noutt what your coontry kin da for ya; ask what ya kin da for your coontry ...

... I hears Paddy expetiate.

Well ... as I say ... I'll take the metaphor to the substance any day ---- quickeren a bolt of lightening and thunder I heads for the wall of the Long Bar of the Alberta Hotel.

Come here .... Listen .... to John Fitzgerald Kennedy's Inaugural address - CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO/VIDEO - Ya nevar herrr that kinda' oooratory from politicos any more, Bob - they're too far remuved frum the Irish.

Agoon, Paddy, I gotta tell ya - it wooosn't an Irisher that invented that joby - it wooos a Scandahoovian - a laddie by the name of Sorenson, John Fitzgerald's speechwriter.

Well, give me this Bob - at the verrry least - Sorenson or Kennedy or both - a least they tried. Speechifyin's an ancient art - mainly Irish but lost. Today's politicos ave lost it Bob.

I'll never argu with an Irishman, Paddy. And, yer point #2 - you've right. I fawled ... the Saskatchewan election campaign. There was oonly one leaders' debate with three participants. There were no effective rules and the moderator was incompetent and prone to panic - worse even than Anna Maria Tremonti did in the Canadian federal leadership debate of 2004 --- CLICK HERE TO SEE IT ---- Lorne Calvert, NDP premier now ex.. His speeches Paddy ... I woos gowpin with wabbit - his flat and his got a high voice. Paddy ... his best ... ma'God - he's nuuu Kennedy.

Good man yerself Bob - Jeanie Mac - yer man Calvert's pretta bad I will agree - but only if he's readin' a spich. But answerin' a questyun - extemporoneous. Be gorry - then - he's a good voice and soos his upin' and downin' - when it's called fer and hes plenty a grey stuff - shows up in his answers. The other fella - that now Premier Brad Wall. The man's a good solid confident voice. But ---- all he ken do is skiddle arund and arund in sound bites and platitudes. The man's strange eyebrows, Bob - what there are a' them (and I think they're probly made up). And eyebrows er right in front a' the real gray matter where the curiosity is. Ya' kin tell, Bob, behind where Wall's skelled brows shud be - thars a vacuum. He's no curiosity - near as bad as Junior Bush. Ask this Premier Wall fella' a question. If the man has to go longer n' five seconds - all he does is sounds bites (and them of the platitudinal variety) round and round and round and round - and even the village idiot'll know he's got no more curiosity than a bag a'nails.

OOm a pedant Scot, Paddy, and oon editer ta boot - again yer mixin your metaphors. "bag a' hammers Paddy" - no "bag a'nails" ... "bag a'hammers", moon. Anyhoo, the third guy - Karwacky - the Liberal. He culda' stepped in betwin the other two - become a (as they say in learned circles) a de facto moderator. But no - and the man can't be spontaneous - he steps in and plays the bully and his uncouth about it.

Bob - from a pedantic Irishman - that use of the word 'bag-a-hammers' ain't a metophor - it's a similitude.

OOm a pedant Scot, Paddy, and oon editer ta boot - again yer mixin your metaphors. "bag a' hammers Paddy" - no "bag a'nails" ... "bag a'hammers", moon. Anyhoo, the third guy - Karwacky - the Liberal. I havna' heard him yet but the're all gettinnn tegether for a debate Tuesday night in Saskatchewan. Maybe Karwacky'll souprise oos. Coom right doon the middle.

Bob - from a pedantic Irishman - that use of the word 'bag-a-hammers' ain't a metophor - it's a similitude.

Aniiihoo Paddy - ya know why Sorenson was sooo good. Cause he grew up in the age of Winston Churchill. Paddy - the very best - that great Englishman Churchill. Listen Paddy - it'll bring tears to yer eyes, laddie - CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO - and - HERE FOR TEXT:

'... This is no war of chieftains or of princes, of dynasties or national ambition ...'

But ... Bob ... yer man Churchill ... that West-Brit was half Yank ... even then ... he wasn't the very best ... that distinction belongs to ....

Abe Lincoln ... listen ta the potry of it ... this is a long way awa from Canadian politics ... Here's yer man, Bob - listen:

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us  that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion  that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain  that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom  and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

As perilous as it may be ... Paddy ... I mooost tell ye - there was a better Yank oooorator an Lincoln - William Jennings Bryan - his Cross of Gold speech made um the Democratic nominee for president of the United States at only 36. Listen here CLICK HERE - all of the speech brings tears to the eyes of this old Scot but for the best part move to the end of the clip Laddy:

"They tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard. We reply that our great cities rest upon our broad and great prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms, and the grass will grow in the streets of every city of the country - you shall not press upon the bow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

We had a Canuck bettern' 'im Bob. The great Dief. Here's a CBC clip from his acceptance speech at the Tory convention in December of 1956 -

" ...... and I say to you with all humility that the great trust you have given to me to lead the party of Macdonald and of Cartier ..... CLICK HERE - it's at the end of the newscast."

That speech won Diefenbaker the primeministership of Canada. Compare that to Jean Chretien (CLICK HERE - THEN GO TO THE END OF THIS CBC VIDEO OF CHRETIEN'S VICTORY SPEECH IN 2000).

Paddy, regardless, when all is said and done, in Lincoln's - Churchill's - even Diefenbaker's day ... society ... respected politicians ... people thought Diefenbaker noble (until his actions showed him up to be merely petty). Words like "honour" and "country" and "remember" did not sound of hollow hypocrisy. Words like those wouldn't pass one of t'day's focus groups or an Ipsos Reed poll. When ya' say it all and dooo it all - Rex Murphy had it right: (CLICK HERE TO READ HIS OCT 20 GLOBE COLUMN - ALTHOUGH IT'LL COST YA'):

"From Lincoln's day to ours, soapbox to satellite, the means of communication have proliferated. Yet, even Google will not search up a more affecting and noble tribute than a few words spoken at Gettysburg nearly a century and a half ago.

Modern words can blanket the whole world in an instant, and that is as long as most of them will endure. They steal from light nothing but its speed."

And Paddy, thas no metaphorical tortillisin'.


Bob Edwards,
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