Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Grumpy Old Mansbridge

Our first entry in "Online Headline of the Year" for 2006 has to be Martin attacks Layton for not Attacking Harper. Will not even the CBC get off the anti-Martin bandwagon? I have to assume Harper has one of two plans for the public broadcaster. Either:
  • starve it of funding, or
  • replace all its apparatchiks with right-wingers and a playbook written by FoxNews owner Rupert Murdoch.
On the other hand, Martin had one of his finer moments of this campaign courtesy of the CBC in one of their "Town Hall" segments last Thursday.

I watched the first of the series, with Green Party of Canada leader Jim Harris, last December, and as usual, it was very helpful as a way to see how these leaders do when forced to think on their feet. In short, Harris didn't impress me much.

Last night Layton was on, and Peter Mansbridge, the man who stubbornly insists on having no advertising breaks during his nightly newscast, perhaps with thoughts about Harper's plans for CBC in the back of his mind, seemed particularly crabby. Of course, I couldn't blame him, considering his guest never @&%!ing answers the audience's (or his) questions. Totally ignores the question when he doesn't like it, in fact. So Mansbridge was forced to intervene and cut him off and try to get him to answer the actual question, with varying results.

It was then that I realized I might agree with the NDP leader on a host of policy issues; I might even vote for him; but the man is not over-loaded with charm. He has good ideas and is sometimes quite good at framing issues for the general public's consumption, but he isn't what one would call inspirational.

Then again, neither is Harper; that's for sure. Turns out after initially telling the CBC they weren't interested in being on a Town Hall special, the Harper camp changed their minds and we'll have a chance to see him on Thursday night (no link yet).

Here' s hoping Mr. Mansbridge is just as tough on Harper as he was on Layton last night. Anything to stop the prospect of a Harper majority horror show in-waiting would be welcome.

Practice that grimmace there, Peter. Good on you.

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