Reflections on the debate


Update: Reflections now that the debate is over:

  • Someone needs to buy Paul Martin a stopwatch, so he can time his statements better. There was hardly a segment in which he didn’t get cut off for nearly going over his time.
  • Jack Layton really needs to stop phrasing every answer with his slogan that there is a third alternative. We get it, okay? We just don’t like it.
  • As for seniors, children, and working families being Layton’s priorities, well, that’s all very well and nice. (Oh, and if he were being honest, he ought to have listed labour unions at the top of his list). Personally I’d like a government that works for all the rest of us, too. But that’s just me.
  • Stephen Harper said one of the only courageous things in the entire debate, when he defended his belief that large companies need tax breaks in order to stay competitive and to create jobs. Unfortunately, he didn’t follow through. Half the debate seemed like a competition on who could bash the big bad rich corporate bogeyman the most.
  • Gilles Duceppe’s name-dropping is getting annoying. I can just picture him as the guy at the B-list Hollywood party trying to score points with the cool kids by talking about his lunch with Brad and Angelina. Can’t you just see it?
  • Most of the time, the other three candidates ignored Duceppe, figuring there was nothing to gain from going after him and everything to lose. Martin and Harper, in my opinion, lost an opportunity there. Except during the unity segment, none of them bothered to attack Duceppe, and therefore none of them really managed to make the case that they would strongly defend Canadian Unity in the case of a referendum.
  • On that note, I’m not sure what Jack Layton hoped to gain by repeatedly talking about “winning conditions” for Canada in Quebec. He couldn’t possibly be thinking he’s going to win any seats here, could he?
  • If you tied Paul Martin’s hands behind his back, who else thinks he would be mute?

Overall I’d have to give this debate narrowly to Stephen Harper on points, because he survived the first real test after gaining the lead in the polls, and managed to sound more coherent than Paul Martin in most of his responses. However, it was far from conclusive. Martin has indicated that there is plenty of Liberal ammunition to look forward to in the next two weeks, most likely in the form of attack ads painting Harper as being in the pocket of American Conservatives.

As Duceppe grows bolder about gunning for Canada in general and promoting sovereignty, Layton salivates with the notion of once again holding the balance of power, and Martin and Harper duke it out for another two weeks, tonight’s debate has one solid conclusion: this debate is still wide open.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Palubiski 01.10.06 at 2:34 PM

I dunno. I only agreed to watch ’em in exchange for some Orvil Redenbacher.

Were it not for the promise of a bowl of popcorn I’d have gone to bed early.

And since the debate was carried on every major Canadian T.V. outlet, that just means that 99% of the country’s viewers were tuned to American networks.

In fact, perhaps satelite T.V. providers could use clips of the debate to promote greater American cultural penetration.

I’d work for me!


2 DaninVan 01.10.06 at 8:56 PM

John, John, John…
(Orville Redenbacher IS American culture!)


3 DaninVan 01.13.06 at 10:16 PM

Heheh…I’m guessing Martin’s going to be getting a gold watch as a retirement present.


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