Metaphor as Argument

by | April 2, 2014

Patrick Daly’s article, “Catholic schools woven into Ontario’s fabric,” in response to Ken Durkacz’ opinion piece, “One school system will benefit all,” is a blatant case of special pleading.  Daly’s use of metaphor to claim that Catholic schools are an important part of “Ontario’s fabric” is spurious.

If Ontario can be compared to a patchwork quilt, then the scrap that is Catholic schools should be removed and replaced with one that represents one publicly funded school system.

Ken Durkacz’ arguments are economic, rational and inclusive:

We need to move to a single system that would benefit all students in Ontario.

Patrick Daly’s statement is exclusive and relies on ad hominum:

We have been hesitant to respond to similar letters written in the past, however, when they are part of a co-ordinated campaign by an organization whose leadership seems more concerned about its own self-interest

For Daly, the word we includes only the members of Catholic school boards and excludes everyone who is not Catholic. Of course, wanting “to preserve the Christ centredness and the witness of our teachers and other staff ” is not self-interest according to Daly,

Catholic schools have formed an integral part of the fabric of Ontario for well over 175 years. Their graduates, like those in the other school system, have helped shape the wonderful province and country we live in today.

Daly’s statement is crafted make Catholicism and Catholic education appear altruistic and selfless.

Daly ends his plea for special privilege by saying,

Rather than a “problem,” the structure of publicly funded education in Ontario is one to be strengthened and celebrated.

However, what Daly really wants is for publicly funded Catholic education in Ontario “to be strengthened and celebrated,” so the Catholic Church in Ontario can continue its efforts to make Ontario a Catholic dominated province.

One thought on “Metaphor as Argument

  1. Malcolm Buchanan

    Well written Veronica. I would suggest you send the letter to the Hamilton Spectator

    Make sure that you put your name, address and telephone number and e-mail address at the end of the letter. They need verification of the author.


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