Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The Debates

watched the debates for a bit, and found it was a total snore. hated it. here some the quotes from yesterday:

"Excuse me, we do not agree at all, because you were in the government for 10 years when we were asking for action on the environment and the air is a lot worse than it was 10 years ago, drinking water is a real problem." - NDP Leader Jack Layton to Liberal Leader Paul Martin when Martin suggested the Liberals and the NDP agreed on several fronts.

"What's at stake here...is to determine what role they had in this whole sponsorship scandal...These questions have to be answered, you will judge, of course. That's what democracy is all about." - Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe in his opening statement.

i'm with paul wells on this one quote....duceppe asked "how much is in the EI surplus?" which is complex in itself....a tough question, unanswerable in the time alloted...nice work.

overall though, the debate was tough to watch. little of substance was discussed, and i believe that it was mostly an exercise in boring rhetoric. plus ca change.

here's the globe:

Critics rap Harper's performance in French

With reports from Daniel Leblanc, Brian Laghi and Steven Chase
Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - Page A4

OTTAWA -- Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's attempt last night to introduce himself to Quebeckers in the French-language debate was marred, critics say, by a wooden performance during which he had trouble communicating in his second language.

Mr. Harper, whose party is just ahead of Paul Martin's Liberals in the public opinion polls, was under attack from the three other leaders -- Mr. Martin, Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Québécois and New Democrat Jack Layton -- on abortion rights, bilingualism, his position on Iraq, same-sex marriage and his vow to scrap the Kyoto accord.

Liberal critics say that Mr. Harper's handlers oversold his ability to communicate in French, citing some problems he had following up on points he was trying to make during the debate.

now just imagine the outcry if a reporter had gone on about jean chretien's inability to speak basic english. chretien's response would be to shrug and make his famous "i do not care, i'm jean chretien" face. let's face it, quebec does not really know anything about harper. i think his name recognition in quebec is about 10% or something like that. its low. just making an appearence and clearly stating (as he did) that there is an alternative to corrupt federalism and seperatist nihilism is going to earn him points. he could not have lost any since this debate was mostly about quebec....and unfortunately for the country, bombardier. the main 'mark' against the cons was that bombardier would suffer and the cons would cut their subsidies....of course duceppe spun this as 'bad for quebec', but jeez, is this the way we do public policy? the nation's interests are comprised by provincial bs like this?

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