Saturday, December 17, 2005

Post traumatic debate disorder

Was that a debate last night? It seemed more like an updated version of "Reach for the Top" or "Headliners" than a debate. Whoa! We have swung from one end of the continuum to another. The debate during the last election was a free-for-all yellathon with the candidates swinging blindly at one another, hoping for a direct hit that would make the 11pm news. This time around, it was bland, one-dimensional and just a contrived infomercial. Can we not find a happy medium? Is there any way to stage something a bit more oxymoron, I know, but Mark Burnett manages it, why can't the Canadian media and the political parties???

Is it just me, or are others feeling like they want to vote for Gilles Duceppe? He seemed like the only genuine person behind the podium last night. The guy has a vision, albeit one that I'm not too keen about, but a vision nonetheless. The words he chose seemed forthright, concrete....not lofty at all. He's obviously very intelligent and matter of fact. I like the guy. And yet.....when asked about what he would do regarding the whole issue around same sex marriage, his answer was that the issue has been dealt with and one shouldn't be voting on the same issue again. It should be put to rest.
Excuse me, Monsieur Duceppe! Wasn't there a referendum on Quebec separating that took place in 1995? Double standard? Distinct voting rules?

The other 3 Leaders vying for our attention last night?

Despite his utter loathing of the little guy from Shawinagan, Paul Martin continues to use the emotional trump card, covering himself in a pile of maple leaves and bellowing out his love of the country like a beagle howling at the moon. "I love Canada." AWWWWOOOOOOOO! Havent we heard that before? Didn't Chretien hypnotize this country with that mantra? The voters fell in line and voted him in with a majority. Martin knows how to stir the cauldron. No one is going to take his country away from him. I fear, however, that he and the Liberals have turned the heat up too high already........The Liberals may win this thing, but the damage done in Quebec is terrifying for the future of this country.

I was impressed with Layton's ability to start each answer with a sharp direct newsy-length clip that summarized his answer, and end each answer by mentioning his party affiliation. He's a media master, our Jack. Saavy and sure-footed, he also turned to the NDP trump card too and mentioned the beloved Ed Broadbent's name a half dozen times. Didn't I read somewhere that Mr. Broadbent, sickened by the whole scene in Ottawa has gone back into retirement? Was that the only reason he has walked away?

That leaves Stephen Harper, who appeared genuinely nervous during some parts of the evening. He stumbled over phrases and words on several occasions, while trying to make a point. He also seemed to be interrupted by the Moderator much more often than the others. The other Leaders were given leeway time during their oh so impromtu answers, while the egg timer was set for Harper. He was allowed no elbow room whatsoever.

The Moderator also had a lot of her own opinions that she felt the necessity to share with us. That was weird. But, I guess she felt the need to express her bias in two ways.

If one could get beyond the puzzling look on his face, a smile/frown thing, and the fact that he has adopted the condescending cadence of Bernard Lord, Harper made a lot of good points. And yet................

Still up in the air.............still looking for answers................still hoping for substance.

Best go back to wrapping presents, writing Christmas cards, and preparing for a more important day than January 23rd. The New Year can wait. I'm focused on Christmas.

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