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CBC YouTube Debate

Mar 27, 2008

If the Canadian political process is updated to include a CBC YouTube Debate, I'm ready:

I'd like to pose a straightforward question, and my request is that candidates reply with a single word: 'yes' or 'no,' and say nothing else. Absolutely nothing else.

Dramatic pause.

To the moderator: please do your best to help the candidates adhere to the basic rule: 'yes', or 'no.'

It's understandable that we want to qualify our positions, but I have a question that is about as simple as it gets in a political debate. I've thought about how best to ask my question, and tried to make sure that this question is straightforward. After the question has been asked, viewers can research my question using the internet, and if candidates feel the need, they can expand on their answer using the internet or any other media outlet.

Here's the background for my question: to quote the cliche of New York Times reporter Paul Robinson: "in terms of the power, range, novelty and influence of his thought, Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual alive today."

Dramatic pause.

And now, the question: have you personally read a book by professor Noam Chomsky in full, word for word, from cover to cover -- not including university assignments? 'Yes', or 'no'.

Thank you.