Friday, August 07, 2015

1st Debate: So How'd They Do?

Justin Trudeau Our guy did good.  Articulate.  Didn't stumble (though I missed his closing remarks, which I hear weren't so great).  Scored points in the one-on-ones, got off a few good lines:  "And then they were 9.  And so shall that number be 9." and etc.

Stephen Harper  Played defense all night, for the most part well.  Some shots got through on the economy; he admitted we're on the verge of a recession.  And he stumbled re the issue of all of his Senate appointments who are prison bound.  He was weirdly articulate on environmental issues & pipelines, displaying detailed knowledge re Alberta's carbon pricing system.  So, perhaps, a weak point well covered.  Not that I liked his answers on these questions, just that they were relatively well delivered.

Elizabeth May Did well, although at times to me she sounded like she had stumbled in from a wonkfest.  She actually forgave Harper for some of his past-policies.  But if I was in the "throw them all out and vote Green" mood and I stumbled onto the debate and watched her, I would be favorably impressed.

Tom Mulcair had weird body language issues.  I don't think he blinked once the whole debate, and he tried so hard to avoid the "Angry Tom" persona that he wound up sounding sedated.  He took a few hits from Trudeau on Que. Separatism and the SCC (Trudeau's "And Lo!  Nine Judges appeared in the East" line), but later on spoke forcefully (although still in an oddly subdued tone) on the Senate.

The Debate Format Nobody expects CDN political debates to be exciting, but this one was probably as entertaining as it was possible to make it.  The format forced interaction between the candidates, which I think actually worked against Stephen Harper.  He appeared diminished.  A mere mortal among mortals.


Northern PoV said...

" I missed his closing remarks, which I hear weren't so great"
In our house it was the best part. In fact the Libs immediately posted it online. - Have a look and see for yourself. The folks that didn't like it thought Harper's grin worked or that Mulcair had a good night. We all use our rose-coloured glasses interpret the world.

I do think Trudeau may have started to climb out of his self-inflicted C51 wounds. I am undecided (cause of C51) but would likely return to the fold if
* we hear more about the C51 "sunset clause" he is proposing.
* my Lib vote doesn't help a CON (yes - I vote strategically)

Gyor said...

Trudeau nine comment was a pathetic evasion, the clarity act isn't clear at all, and Mulcair is right, its a dangerous fantasy. Mulcair won with this attacks on Harper's economic mamagement.

mandible said...

Andrew Coyne liked Trudeau's closing comment:

"This closer by Trudeau is head and shoulders above the rest. If anyone is still watching."

Northern PoV said...

Hey Gyor

I think Trudeau should have focussed on Harper's anti-democratic behavior in this section. But given the solument electorate on this issue... he thought otherwise - time will tell if attacking the NDPs awkward position on the Clarity Act has any traction.

But as to "Trudeau nine comment was a pathetic evasion"
are you kidding?

Best line of the night - its a complex issue with no simple "gotcha" answers.
Remember: easy to get married, hard to divorce & most organizations require super-majorities to change the basic rules. It also referenced that other important branch of our democracy: the high court - and we all know Harper loves the Supremes.

Gayle said...

Not to mention the fact that Mulcair's attack on Trudeau, including calling him "Justin" in a mocking and condescending tone did not do Mulcair any good. Like it or not, the whole exchange made Trudeau look a lot better than Mulcair (though in the end Harper, surprisingly and sadly, probably looked the best).

Unknown said...

If you look at the comments online about Trudeau's comments , they are overwhelmingly in favour. So while some didn't like, it appealed to many people who were looking for some inspiration rather than just attacks. Certainly those I was with watching it liked this closer.