News, Politics

She Said, He Said: A Big Week For Political Testimony

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Politics heated up last week in Canada and in the United States. In both countries, people were giving “testimony” about their leaders–Justin Trudeau (Canada) and Donald Trump (United States).

“Testimony,” in this case, is when people make a public statement to talk about things they saw or heard happen, for instance, in government. Testimony is often given to a political committee or in a court of law.

In Canada, former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould, said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked her to help a Quebec company called SNC-Lavalin, when she was one of the country’s top lawmakers.

She said that was inappropriate because leaders are not allowed to interfere with the law. Trudeau said he “completely disagrees” with Wilson-Raybould’s version of events. He said he and his staff did everything correctly.

At the same time in the United States, high-level testimony was being given in a very different matter. One of Donald Trump’s former lawyers, Michael Cohen, was asked questions about the US president. Cohen told a committee that Trump did some things that may have been unlawful. Trump denies the accusations.

Just because someone has been elected to lead a country, it doesn’t mean they can do anything they want. Testimony is one way that leaders can be held accountable for the things they do and say.

It is not yet known whether the things Wilson-Raybould and Cohen said their leaders did are true or false–investigators are still looking into the claims.

A person can choose to believe or not believe the things said about a leader. That is why public testimonies like these are so important. People giving testimony must tell the truth, by law, or they will be in trouble. (However, that doesn’t mean that everyone’s version of “the truth”–what they honestly believe–is the same.)

Investigations into the actions of Trudeau and Trump are likely to continue and could even determine whether they can continue to lead their countries.

That is why people are so interested in the statements being given, and why the investigations are likely to continue for some time.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
As suggested in the title of the article, it is a bit of a situation of “she said, he said,” which means that it is one person’s word against another’s.
The article explains that investigators are looking into both situations to try to determine what actually happened. How do you think investigators could get more information? What strategies could they use?

Reading Prompt: Comprehension Strategies
This article provides an overview of two very complicated situations. Pick one of them and make a list of 10 questions you still have. Then try to answer a few of your questions through additional research.

Junior
I
dentify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand texts (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Intermediate
Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand increasingly complex texts (OME, Reading: 1.3).

Language Feature: Bullet Points
Bullet points are used to summarize and list information. Bullets usually aren’t written in full sentences.
Read this article and summarize it into 3 short bullet points.