Thursday, October 02, 2008

Brief thoughts on the debates

I watched the French-language debates at our BC campaign office last night, where we hosted a debate watching party with former Prime Minister Paul Martin for members of the Laurier Club.

It was a little loud, so I ducked into a side room for much of the debate to hear the debate. I thought St├ęphane Dion very well, quickly gaining confidence as he mastered the format and going on the attack, both effectively getting his points in while attacking the Conservative non-plan on the economy and the NDP job-killing anti-business agenda. He got the best line of the debate “you’re the risk!” and made the only real news of the debates with the 30-day action plan. Pundits comparing this to the nothwithstanding clause promise of the last election are off base. This was a substantive policy announcement on the most important issue currently facing the country, building on our policy platform. Not only is it good policy, it was good politics: by making the news release during the debate, our plan was the lead in much of the coverage, and it got the message out loud and clear that we’re the only party with an immediate action plan for the economy.

On the other leaders, I felt Harper seemed to be struggling to stay cool and not unleash Angry Harper™, he didn’t impress. Jack Layton was Jack, he seemed overshadowed by Dion and while he did fine, I don’t feel he stood-out. Gilles Duceppe is the dean of the debates and he was solid as usual, I liked how he slammed Harper back on Kyoto, rightly pointing-out the Conservatives fought against the Liberal efforts while in government. And May didn’t make a strong impression on me, although she did have a few good moments and animated reactions to some of Harper’s outlandish environmental claims.

In case you’re wondering, Paul Martin thought Dion did a fantastic job, and he insisted he wasn’t just saying that. Looking forward to the English debates tonight; clearly St├ęphane has the momentum and it will be important to build on his strong performance of last night.

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MrvnMouse said...

Are you holding a gun to Martin's back? His facial expression is priceless in that photo. :)

Prairie Kid said...

Can you tell me where you bought your rose colored glasses? Or maybe the signal from Quebec took too long to get to your set and things got lost during transmission. Harper not cool? It was Dion who was red in the face for most of the debate. And check the answers of the leaders to the question "say something nice about the person on the left". The only class answer was from Harper.

Scott Tribe said...

Um, Prairie Kid, the only one wearing the rose-covered glasses is you.. as you might want to check the Ipsos and La Presse/CROP poling that showed that most Quebeckers who watched the debates felt that Dion was either the winner or a close second to Duceppes.. while Harper was dead last in most categories.

A BCer in Toronto said...

mrvnmouse, was the only way he'd agree to a pic with the likes of me. I assure you, it was registered.