Friday, October 3, 2008

Federal leadership debate

I'm watching the English debate streamed on CBC (it keeps re-setting, which is annoying). I tried the CTV site but nothing would load. I've watched about a third, and my impressions so far:

Harper held his ground, but only barely. He appeared at a loss when confronted about his investment spending (they've invested in the forestry and the automotive sectors?). He also wanted to be very clear, as he repeated frequently. He's been between jobs, and knows how hard it is for Canadians in danger of losing their jobs... really? And he can't seem to avoid his little smirk.

Dion's English was difficult, but he spoke with conviction. He forcefully defended the carbon tax, pulling out numbers of tax savings for lower-income Canadians. He attempted to carve out the middle economic ground, a phenomenon that would have been hard to imagine even a few years ago.

Layton had great lines (Where's the platform? Under the sweater?) and stood up for Canada's working families. His jibes at the Liberals should be worked into their campaign. The NDP, unfortunately for them, aren't a regional party, so a few points gained in the polls won't necessarily translate into an increase in seats.

May surprised me in two ways: demanding support for the pulp-and-paper sector (what?) and throwing economic numbers around comfortably. I can't see the Greens getting more than one seat, and even that is doubtful.

Duceppe reminds me of an alien. I really enjoy his almost disinterested engagement in the English language debate.

Regarding the environment: Harper has nothing. His record is ridiculous, and everyone seems to agree.

For a great commentary on the debate, see the Tyee's Blog-O-Rama.

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