Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Notes on the leaders' Debates

'Fraid I missed the entire first hour of tonight's french language debate due to a mix of parenting duties and my sacred responsibilities as Al Goulem's biggest fan.

Duceppe was on his home turf and coasted through masterfully as usual, making scathing points about Martin (a talk-the-talk but not walk-the-walk kind of guy, in his estimation), and saving the occasional shot for Harper as well.

Harper was, basically, as scintillating as a big tub of margarine (official Quebec-grade, extra light yellow) that breaks into a disturbingly forced little smile at the end of every sentence. He framed virtually every response as a question of the federal government not over-stepping its bounds into provincial jurisdiction, and stifled his giddiness at labeling Liberals as criminals with an entitlement complex. He was clearly trying to turn on the charm (which just gives me the willies), but I have to say his command of french does seem to have improved since the last debate.

Martin was wearing a bright blue shirt with a crimson tie, the two of which conspired to give the impression his wardrobe was attempting a hostile takeover of their host. It made it hard to concentrate on what he was saying (but he stuttered less than yesterday, and seemed more "on"). He looked somewhat wan as he listened to Duceppe and Layton reciting statistics of millions of Canadian children still living in poverty despite years of Liberal governments' heartfelt promises to Put an End to this, Once and For All.

Martin's best moment was when he layed into Harper, telling him it's not very Prime Ministerial to go on American TV and slam your own country for not joining in on the Iraq invasion. (Good move reminding Quebeckers of this fact - we were considerably more negative on that war than the Canadian average).

Layton was less repetitive than in the english debate (thank God) and his command of the issues was strong. He used his "winning conditions" for Quebec within Canada line from last night's debate (which does sound nice - more so in french; but where's the beef?) Then he tried to frame last year's NDP-revised budget as a response to the fiscal imbalance while painting Harper and Martin with the same brush: as fat cats favouring tax cuts for big corporations over money for social programs. Layton also blasted Harper on his promised GST cut, asking what's to keep commercial outlets from cynically raising their prices and negating any savings for consumers?

Duceppe, Layton and Harper all went after Martin for his surprise announcement yesterday that he wants to take away the option of using the Notwithstanding clause for federal lawmakers. They all seemed bewildered, and either made cogent arguments for keeping the constitution as is, or used it as a prime example of Martin's lack of vision, pointing out that the things he believes in Very Very Dearly is constantly changing.

Of course Martin used that as a pretext to shoot back at Harper for being a turncoat to his own deeply held convictions over the past 20 years, what with all these new policy announcements.

So there was a lot of excitement tonight, and from what I saw I'd say it was the best debate of the four. I'm taping the Radio-Canada newscast right now while the wifey watches Gilmore Girls. I can't wait to see Bernard Derome's take on it; he can always tell when Rory is heading for a romantic disappointment.

He may even have something to say about politics too.

- 30 -

5 comments:

CathiefromCanada said...

Scott, I appreciate your description of the debate -- very interesting.
Did it use the same format as the English debate? I thought that format was pretty good.
And we watched Gilmour Girls for the first time tonight-- we liked it a lot, I don't know why we haven't watched it before.

Anonymous said...

//Layton also blasted Harper on his promised GST cut, asking what's to keep commercial outlets from cynically raising their prices and negating any savings for consumers?//

Once again, Layton displays his ignorance in front of the Canadian public. They won't/can't raise their prices because of competition! Good grief Jack, this is Econ 101. That's why your "not-for-profit" healthcare system is so grossly inefficient and costly. Monopolies have no competition and no incentive to improve yourself. Why bother? Just raise taxes on Canadians.

//...it's not very Prime Ministerial to go on American TV and slam your own country for not joining in on the Iraq invasion.//

Thank goodness for Harper telling it like it is. I hope the world will forgive us for our leader's unsatiable greed. Chretien's son-in-law's Father is the leading shareholder in France's TotalFinaElf oil compnay--a company that was in bed with Saddam, and Saddam also invested $1 million in PMPM's shipping company.

And then there are the Liberals that are involved in the Oil-for-Food scandal--which the liberal MSM refuses to cover.

Will the world forgive us for our greed and cowardice? Will the Iraqis forgive us for refusing to help liberate them from decades of tyranny under the regime of a brutal massmurdering madman?

I hope the Iraqis realize that all Canadians are not racists, that not all Canadians think that those brown-skinned subhuman Iraqis do not deserve democracy, but only to live under the boot of a massmurderer.

Embarrassed to be Canadian (unless the CPC wins)

Scott in Montreal said...

Embarrassed to be Canadian, "Anonymous"? I'm embarrassed you're Canadian myself. You're a poster child for the urgent need to make drastic improvements in our education system. You're obviously too chicken-shit to identify yourself and be accountable for the unattributed allegations you sling around. Typical Harper-bot.

Anonymous said...

Typical leftie...ignore the argument and resort to ad hom attacks. Gee, I've never come across that before. *rolls eyes*

You're a poster child for the urgent need to make drastic improvements in our education system.

I'm not the one who said: what's to keep commercial outlets from cynically raising their prices and negating any savings for consumers?

Btw, it is the left who controls our schools and it is frightening that dumbasses like Layton were teachers. Every business that is not a monopoly (a la govt agencies) knows that you can't just raise your prices to "negate" the GST savings.

And it is also the left's policies who run the inner cities in Canada. And what a bang-up job they do. The NDPer for Winnipeg Centre is obsessed with banning trans fat while ignoring the inner city that is full of violence, drugs, and gangs.

You're obviously too chicken-shit to identify yourself and be accountable for the unattributed allegations you sling around.

Ha ha. Chickenshit? It's not us righties who were too chickenshit to enforce int'l law (and the broken 16 UN resolutions) and overthrow Saddam.

I can't be arsed to sign up for an account, but I did leave my id at the bottom of my post because I am embarrassed to be Canadian for the last 12 yrs. This country has went to sh*t in a handbasket.

If Harper wins, I will change my Id.

Embarrassed to be Canadian (unless the CPC wins)

CptnConservative said...

I liked the part on Martins wardrobe....lol

Also, I like many other Conservatives, really like Duceppe. He's got a no BS attitude that really shows through his expressions, he's great to watch.