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KINSELLA: In politics, silence is golden

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07.09.2019

The sounds of silence.

It’s not just the name of an old Simon and Garfunkel song. It’s a way to achieve political success, too.

Two anecdotes, from two sides of the political divide.

Several eons ago, this writer was a speechwriter for Jean Chretien. It was kind of like being the Maytag Repairman, to be honest. Jean Chretien doesn’t ever need any help in crafting a political tub-thumper. He’s pretty good at that all on his own.

One day, however, our opponents were saying all kinds of nasty things about the then-Liberal leader. The subject matter doesn’t matter. What mattered was Chretien’s abject refusal to say anything back. Why, Boss, I asked him.

“We don’t have to be in the damn paper every day, young man,” he said. “People don’t like it. They want to hear from us when it’s important. But not all the time. Silence is good.”

Another anecdote, from the other side........

© Edmonton Sun