Hyperbole and argumentum ad hominem

  Niagara Falls, Ontario, Tuesday, April 27, 2004
by: Joe Hueglin
  Brian Mulroney's statements that "This is the kind of party Stephen Harper is leading: a moderate, successful Conservative party," and that "That's the way it used to be, for 125 years. Then it took a 10-year hiatus, and now we're all back together," (1) are hyperbole.
  Rather than acting to prove the "moderate" nature of which Mulroney speaks, reactions to the Right Honourable Joe Clark's Question Period comments are the opposite. They attack the speaker rather than addressing the words spoken.
  Conservative Party Campaign Chair and House Leader's John Reynold's response? Calling him " a "bitter old man" and "a political turncoat" and suggesting "Clark "is a traitor to the cause." (2)
  Harper's, dismissing Clark's position as not being rooted in the nature of himself and the party he leads but rather as a  reaction to Mulroney's strong endorsement, motivated by loss of PC leadership more than 20 years ago. (3)
  Yet to be determined is whether or not the fortunes what Mulroney calls "a moderate, successful Conservative party," will be affected. Harper is quoted as saying they will not be. (3)
  Indisputable, however, is that Brian's statement, "we're all back together" most certainly fits the definition of hyperbole "extravagant exaggeration". (4)

Joe Hueglin

1. CTV News Brian Mulroney gives speech praising Harper, (PDF) April 24, 2004, CTV
2. Brown, Jim, Joe Clark says Martin a less dangerous choice for country than Harper (PDF) April 25, 2004, Canadian Press
3. CTV News, Joe clark says he'd choose martin over Harper (PDF), April 26, 2004, CTV News, CFTO
4. Hyperdictionary, "Hyperbole"



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