Monday, January 09, 2006

Debate observations AKA what I'm yelling at the TV

Harper always looks like he wants to break into a smile.

Harper's going after the support of working families and seniors? That's Layton's area.

Layton's going after the support of working families and seniors? Well duh.

Martin? Duceppe? You want the support of working families and seniors too?

Good on Layton to go positive amid the negative.

Martin going positive isn't as convincing.

Martin's response to the fact his ships use flags of convenience: "I want to see Canadians succeed on the global stage". Huh?

Canvassers at my door. Fools, don't you realize what's going on?

Oh lord, here comes Martin and the Charter. What does that have to do with the question asked?...Repeal the notwithstanding clause? What? Martin wins the Award for Deft Removal of Objects in One's Posterior.

Martin needs to stop bobbing. Pity the cameraman assigned to him. Although, it makes his job more interesting. I bet Harper's cameraman is asleep.

Phone call from the Tony Ianno campaign. Uh, sorry, I'm busy watching your leader self-immolate.

Watch it, Stephen Harper. Sgro was cleared of that immigration scandal. All the leaders are playing loose with the truth in their attacks.

I love the proportional representation question aimed at Duceppe. Let's see him squirm out of this one!

Martin wants more women in Parliament? His hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Jack! Jack! You could have nailed him on that, but you didn't!

That gun crime question to Harper, "would the 4 Mounties, would the Laval policewoman, would the 15-year old Toronto girl still be alive under your government?" Horrendously inflammatory.

Steve Paiken speaks too quickly.

Enough of the flags, Harper.

Yay public transit gets a mention.

Boo, public transit gets forgotten.

Harper refuses to look at Martin. Martin refuses to look at Layton except with contempt. Duceppe never speaks to the camera.

Martin: "We gave $5 billion to the aboriginals because that is one of the root causes of poverty in this country". Nice. Real nice.

Oh, finally, Martin throws a pitch at working families and seniors. Eeesh. Duceppe? Your turn.

As Steve Paiken asks the question on agriculture, all the leaders but Martin flip madly through their briefing binders. Martin looks poised, they look frantic. Guys, it's a wide angle shot, pay attention!

Oh Layton and your down-home stories from the campaign trail. Touching. Cue violin. Actually, you did a good job with that one. You kept it mercifully short.

Oh, so now suddenly, Martin is of Southern Ontario farming heritage? But of proud federalist Quebec heritage?

Question on the NDP working in a minority government: Jack, answer the damn question! Clever Martin turning the small-business tax cuts against Layton. Martin says we have to fund education? Then why haven't you? Duceppe's is the only decent answer.

Oh Steve...nice follow up on Layton working with the Tories. Answer it, answer it....come on! Oh well. I don't know why Layton is afraid to say he'll work with them. Classy Harper response, that he will still work with Layton anyway: perhaps he is trying help woo Liberal voters over to the NDP, in hopes it boosts Conservative chances.

Fiscal imbalance, booooooooorrrrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnng.

Oh, I LOVE it. They nailed Duceppe on the "same-sex marriage has been settled with a vote, no need to revisit it/ Quebec can revisit the independence issue over and over"

Uh oh, first the Charter, now Martin is pushing Chindia. Where's my Paul Martin speaking-points bingo card?

Damn Tony Ianno campaign, stop calling!

Jack Layton, stop saying "winning conditions". That is a separatist term!

Oh, I love love love these Duceppe questions: "Is Quebec divisible?" Nonsensical answer.

Good on Layton for being positive on unity, but he comes off as naive. And kinda lame. "Love is the answer!" seems to be his message.

These unity questions are GREAT. Question to Martin "Do you believe the country is so fragile it can't survive a change of government?" Martin's essential response: "Vote for us or have no say". Worst possible answer.

Sure, Martin has no problem referring to Quebec as a nation, except he won't say it. He'll call it a 'peuple' though. One thinks he's hoping Albertans won't know what that is.

Watch out Harper, Quebecers love their childcare program. Don't diss it...oops, too late.

Martin: "I have no problem using the word 'nation', I use it all the time". Except before the words 'of Quebec'.

Paiken to Duceppe: "Do you care who becomes Prime Minister?"
Paiken to Layton: "You haven't said you're running for Prime Minister..."
I am LOVING these questions. I don't think Paiken is running from a script anymore. I think he's free-wheeling it. This is where Martin will fall apart.

Closing statements:
Boring and predictable. Harper's 'redeem federalism and remove a government pre-occupied with scandal" is going to resonate.

Steve Paiken has done an absolutely outstanding job. I've watched him for many years on TVO, and this was his breakout opportunity. He smacked it out of the ballpark.

And a last note: stunned confusion amongst the leaders bumbling about as the credits roll. I suppose it's better than having their loving families running out to greet them as in the Edwards-Cheney debate of 2004. Not that Cheney's family loves him. Or are capable of love. Could you love an android? But I digress...

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