Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Quebec Political Fallacy

The fallacy of ad hominem is the attempt to win an argument by attacking the author of the argument as opposed to the substance of the argument itself. For example, the leader of the Parti Quebecois (PQ) calling the Premier of Quebec 'three foolish monkeys' and a liar at every opportunity is, according to the Quebec Liberal Party, nothing more than a name calling match. According to these same Liberals, this name calling has become part of the PQ's strategy.

A sad reflection on the Quebec electorate is that this name calling could be working as the Liberals have taken a hard hit in the polls in recent weeks. It is debatable whether this name calling is the cause of the drop or if it's more closely related to hard economic times. Nonetheless, it's disappointing to see how frequently these types of empty, fallacious forms of argumentation are deployed by politicians (of all stripes.) Do they really think we can't see that all they're doing is poking fun at one another and not making any real arguments? Yeah, they do. They may even be right.

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