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Latin and Canada’s Liberals

I spent a good chunk of my high school career studying latin. While I can’t remember much of it, to this day latin retains, for me, a certain air of weightiness and formality. It’s a very compact, but very expressive language, which, coupled with the fact that not many people understand it, makes it a favorite of lawyers and other folks who are trying to impress.

Many aphorisms we use today have their origins in latin. For instance, there is the phrase exitus acta probat, or the end justifies the means. Most certainly this was what Jean Chretien had in mind when he constructed a $250 million fund to buy Quebec’s loyalty by illegally funnelling tax dollars to Liberal Party cronies. Mr. Chretien apparently wasn’t thinking of another common latin phrase, caveat emptor, or let the buyer beware, as millions were dished out for exhorbitantly price-inflated and mostly worthless services, however.

Another favorite of mine is falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus — false in one thing, false in all. It neatly summarizes the dilemma of the Liberal Party and Paul Martin at the moment.  As Jean Brault points the finger at Liberal backroom operatives, and those same operatives, like Jean Corriveau, conveniently can’t remember what they actually did, the electorate doesn’t know whom to believe, and so labels all Liberals as liars.  Polls released this morning show this happening, with the Conservatives possibly being able to form a majority government should an election be called. Even more importantly for Paul Martin, however, these same polls show that more of the electorate believe Steven Harper to be trustworthy than believe the same about Paul Martin. The fallout of Gomery is tarring all Liberals with the same brush. The electorate is genuinely shocked because corruptio optimi pessima — the corruption of the best is the worst of all.

Perhaps we are witnessing the end of the “Natural Governing Party”. Perhaps, finally, Liberal hubris has been dealt a blow from which recovery is impossible.  I have never been a Liberal voter myself, but it’s hard to see how anyone could vote Liberal while the drama of Jean Corriveau’s transparent lies is unfolding daily in the nations newspapers.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Dad April 16, 2005, 8:47 am

    Matilda told such Dreadful Lies,
    It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
    Her aunt, who, from Earliest Youth,
    Had kept a strict Regard for Truth,
    Attempted to Believe Matilda:
    The effort VERY NEARLY (emphasis Dad) killed her.

    I Knew Belloc had written something like this and found the quatation in the Oxford Book. You may be right about the demise of the Liberal Party, but don't count your chickens yet. I only voted Liberal when it was necessary to rid the country of BM, but I should not like to see us without a Liberal Party. I also hope we don't have an election before Gomery has finished his work.

  • Alec April 16, 2005, 11:22 am

    I think they may be headed for a stretch in the wilderness, much as the Conservatives in the post Mulroney years. It's unlikely that they will be reduced to a 2 seat rump, but depending on how this whole Gomery mess evolves, it could get much worse yet.

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