Conjugate-gate -


A Conservative grammar lesson


It will probably not turn out to be Watergate, but conjugate-gate does have a certain unique ridiculousness.

In terms of helping people both improve their grammar and familiarize themselves with the political system though, it might be better to have them conjugate “prorogue” or define “omnibus.”



  1. Leave it to partisan pundits to chase down these phantoms when all the Conservatives are trying to do is help educate immigrants.

    What’s the world coming to when a party as pure as the driven snow is facing accusations like this?

  2. I’ll blank those blankety blanks all right!

  3. As much as I like to assign sinister motive to upper-level Conservative members, this particular piece of ass-hattery strikes me as more of a low-level Conservative cheerleader move. Still, it’s noteworthy because it’s just so incredibly Orwellian. Bravo, low-level cheerleader, bravo.

  4. ‘D’oh…guess we’ll have to pull that one in guys. Man! What is up with these CBC leftards…can’t they see we is just trying to educate the ethnics, er… newbies?


    Probably just some political skullduggery by the local Harper fans. But the real clue that it is conservatives though is the complete absence or any semblance of subtlety… you get the whole ball of wax in there. Only thing missing was a pic of the PM or JK’s signature.
    I also liked the brutal simplicity of the claim to sole ownership of the term “majority”. But i guess nuance like that are outside the remit of our educational authorities, or govt these days. Just give em the “facts”

    And in just in case the newbies still had any doubt about the whole concept the GoC logo is right there in bold print. Surprised it wasn’t in red…it is an official colour.

    But I do give them some credit for not adding a foot note reminding new citizens of the whole host of infractions that can get someone sent packing back to where they came from. Now that would be going too far.

    • (to rape): Before Minister Kenney’s useful book, my barbaric culture did not know it was not OK to ______ people.

      • Is this one of those funny puzzle word games, [don’t know the name for them]where you put in whatever you like?
        I’ll go for…OK to bumble people

  5. Our minister speaks to the conjugation every Sunday. We all conjoin afterwards in celebration.

  6. The weirdest thing here isn’t the “conservative” example per se, it’s the “Harper government” nomenclature being used.

    First, it suggests that we’ve all bought in to Harper’s communication policy, and we’re just going to officially refer to governments by the name of their Prime Minister from now until the end of time. Second, and more importantly, it’s PEDAGOGICALLY UNSOUND. It may be “common knowledge”, but in order to answer the question correctly, the test-taker has to know that Harper is the leader of the Conservative party (also, “conservative” should be capitalized in the sentence). As I said, that may be common knowledge (though I’d bet if you polled a random sample of people on the street you could find DOZENS who have no idea) but nonetheless, a question meant to test one’s knowledge of vocabulary and grammar should not ALSO require the test taker to understand Canadian politics in order to correctly answer the question (ironically, a problem that would be eliminated if the question referred to a “Conservative government” and not a “Harper government”).

  7. Heaven forbid a simple lesson in grammar use a real world example! What an outrage!

    • Wouldn’t a “real world” example have to be, you know, . . . true?

    • As mtl_bcer has pointed out, there has never been an election in the real world in which a Harper government was elected as a result of the majority of voters voting for the conservatives.

      To make it a real world example, you’d have to replace “Harper” with “Mulroney”. However, then you’re using a 1984 example, which would arguably be even worse pedagogically than an example that both requires the learner to know who the leader of the Conservative Party is AND describes an event that’s never taken place.

      • My bad, you’re right. This is an absolute travesty of justice and heads must roll.

        • :-P

          Hey, as I said above, to me the “partisanship” of the question is orders of magnitude less importance than the fact that it’s pedagogically unsound. It’s not a travesty, and no heads need roll, but from an educational perspective it’s a pretty horrible question.

    • A majority of voters did not vote for the _______ Party, so it’s not a real world example. You can substitute any Party in the _______, and it will still be wrong, so maybe it is non-partisan?

      I would ask how you can be so obtuse, but that question gets ______ after a while.