[kwlug-disc] Meeting with (not so new) MPs in KW region.

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Sat May 7 13:22:37 EDT 2011

L.D. Paniak wrote, On 05/07/2011 10:07 AM:
> On Sat, 2011-05-07 at 09:43 -0400, Darcy Casselman wrote:
>> On Sat, May 7, 2011 at 9:34 AM, L.D. Paniak
>> <ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com> wrote:
>> That won't help you talk to
>> politicians.  Don't try to talk like a lawyer if you're not a lawyer.
>> Even if you can poke holes in the arguments, you'll still fail.  Tell
>> them stories ...
>> Keep it simple.  Let Michael Geist be the legal scholar. ...
> I agree that discussions should take place from the POV of "aggrieved
> stakeholder", but it can't hurt to be prepared for the possibility of
> the pol/lawyer attempting to bury you in legalese. You make it sound
> like lawyers are infallible.

This is just my opinion, and some may be offended by it:

It's not that lawyers are infallible, it's that this is all a game to 

It seems to me that lawyers are professional debaters. This is all a 
game to them, and they are seldom as personally passionate, engaged, 
and affected by the issue at hand to the same extent you are. They can 
argue either side of an issue, using some subtle scoring system we 
don't understand, and success or failure to them is winning the round, 
not persuading the participants.

They debate for a living, you will not win. If you dispute a fact or 
show them to be wrong, they'll readjust to mean they were talking 
about a more narrowly defined aspect (wherein their point is still 
correct), then somehow extrapolate from that narrow definition that it 
must be true for the whole.

This stuff is all too complicated and too inter-related for the 
non-'single purposed, dedicated, full-time, professional' to grok such 
that devolving to a legalese debate is going to be useful as anything 
other than a debating exercise, rather than a progression towards a 
consensus of opinion and approach - leading to a policy enactment.

Darcy's points should be well taken.
- he was unable to engage the candidate / MPP.
- had to engage a staffer within about 30 seconds before they tuned out.
- devolving to legalese or techiness at that point wasn't going to get 
- as it was, 'linux' or 'why would you want to' got him tuned out.
- at the same time, Russell's 4-owners wouldn't likely have been 
successful, then and there, either. In that instance.

I suspect Darcy and Russell are both right in their approaches - show 
how things affect you, and how you will affect them (the 
representative). Sadly. Instead of it being the 'right' or 'moral' 
thing to do.

I expect the debate and legalese have their place, but perhaps only in 
policy papers or Ottawa committee discussions. Vs. How this thread 
started, which was how to engage a local discussion, and one's local 
representative, that this stuff 'matters'.

Not to take anything away from the value of understanding the 
intricacies / legalese, merely, I guess, that one has to understand 
the particular venue they're engaged in, at that moment.

I do like the earlier analogy of the government putting a lock on your 

Perhaps this is another: If I buy a bottle of pop, I won't be able to 
pour it into a glass, first, before drinking. [Not intending to start 
a flamewar here - between beer in cans vs. bottles, or from a glass 
vs. from the container,  let alone how, and how long, to chill the 
glass, first.]

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