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The Canadian Leader's Debate

Ali de Bold

Did anyone else think this was funny? Or was it just me? First of all, Elizabeth May, you ROCK, Girl! I'd like to buy that lady a drink. She seemed the most prepared and the most honest/least politicking. Jack Layton seems like such a nice man. Though I wouldn't vote for the NDP, I'd love to invite him and the fam over for dinner. Stephane Dion seemed angry (as usual) and he was wearing loads of foundation. I felt kinda bad for him. Stephen Harper - poor guy. Had everyone against him and that's gotta be tough. However, he's so good at politicking and though I'm not sure where he stands on most issues, I somehow felt like he won. Gilles Duceppe - I'd love to mail you a lint roller to get the dandruff off your collar. That's the trouble with HD, you get distracted by the tiniest things.

What did you think? Did this help you decide who to vote for?
Oct 02, 2008 @ 11:06 pm

14 Replies


NO!!! Saying nothing doesn't mean winning a debate!

I have to disagree with you on Harper. Because he truly offended me with his responses on the economy and the arts. Seeing the news everyday of a global economic crisis already happening - ie stock market crashes, housing prices is beginning to drop in Canada while sellers are having a terribly hard time trying to find buyers...etc - he didn't even flinch when he said the Canadian economy is fine and that this whole thing happening south of the border will not affect us. And then when he said he loves the arts and offered some truly negligible campaign promise to support a kid's art program, while cold-heartedly cutting an important funding program for artists and calling them "spoiled children" was despicable - this affects not just the visual arts, but film makers, writers, designers, musicians...etc. The worst part of this cut in my view is that the trade-routes program is about promoting Canadian art and design in the world market, thus, allowing artists from many disciplines to launch businesses into the global market. So, I was pretty mad watching the guy act calm while either lying through his teeth or saying nothing at all.

I totally agree that Elizabeth May was amazing at the debate. Duceppe was actually surprisingly good too. His "buy canada" policy and his making Harper admit fault for the decision to send our troops to Afghanistan was great fun to watch. Jack Layton with his "where're your policies, Mr. Harper? Under your sweater?" was glorious. And Dion, well, I was hoping that his performance would have helped him a bit more. I have to say that I'm a bit biased towards him because I'm looking forward to all the young competent members in the Liberal party - Gerard Kennedy, Justin Trudeau, Martha Hall Findley.
Oct 07, 2008 @ 09:44 am
Ali de Bold

I didn't say I was voting for Harper

I said it somehow seemed that he won because he was so good at 'politicking' (i.e deflecting and not really committing to anything). A lot of critics said the same thing. In fairness he was totally ganged up on and I thought he handled that pretty well. Unfortunately it still did not help me decide who to vote for. :(

Did the debate help anyone else decide?
Oct 07, 2008 @ 11:35 am

it's difficult to make informed decisions based on campaigns

Hm, I suppose the tone of my response was a bit harsh. So, I apologize if I made you feel as if I was directing it at you personally. The 'title' was more a reaction to the overwhelming consensus of the media/critics over who'd won the debate.

As for your question about whether the debate actually helped me decide on who to vote for... my answer would be no (my biases were developed over the past few years). In fact, the ways in which politicians run campaigns make it harder to decide because they're more about showmanship than really explaining platforms or, equally important, the quality of the people that would end up becoming the ministers. The act of campaigning has been turned into an end in and of itself - for example, there are textbooks and theories about how to "frame" the image of a candidate. Maybe that's why voter turn-out has declined so drastically in recent years.

Oct 09, 2008 @ 12:05 am
Ali de Bold

I totally agree

The more coverage I watch, the less decided I become. Steven Harper was quite agitated last night during his interview with Peter Mansbridge that it was uncomfortable to watch while Jack Layton's tonight was so... oh, doesn't he just seem like the dearest man? Almost makes me want to vote for him even though his promises sound risky/silly/dangerous somehow. Stefan Dion - I just can't understand what he actually stands for since he spends his whole time pointing fingers at Harper and wearing too much foundation. I feel he could use a good spa date. Elizabeth May, dear Liza. I haven't seen anything since her lovely campaign bus commercial and I'm not sure why they chose to shoot that in profile though I do appreciate her earrings. She still seems to make the most sense but I don't really know where she stands on economic issues.

So far the only politician to truly win me over is Obama... which is problematic seeing as I can't vote for him.

I just don't know.

Oh and Samuraiya, no worries at all. I just wanted to clarify I was undecided. All opinions are great and most welcome :)
Oct 09, 2008 @ 01:03 am

Canadian elections?

Forgive my ignorance. Down here in the states it seems nothing else matters, at least to the media, other than our own political campaigns. Surely though the US elections get a lot of coverage in Canada, too. How can they not w/ the whole Sarah Palin component?! :-P Are the Canadian elections as interesting and heated this season as things are down here?
- Your curious American ;-)
Oct 10, 2008 @ 07:07 pm
Ali de Bold


I think most of us are just as interested in American politics as Canadian because y'all are so big/close. Also it's a lot more dramatic when you have only 2 candidates and we have 5.

I'm pretty sure Sarah Palin is entertaining the world right now. I love Tina Fey's impressions of her. So brilliant. It must be hard on her though or any politician dealing with a lot of criticism/laughter. Campaigns are much more entertaining than they are informative and that's really too bad because it then becomes a popularity contest instead of a vote based on education and research.
Oct 11, 2008 @ 10:48 pm

wow, 5?

Wow, 5 candidates? Is that b/c there are 5 different political
parties? Or are there a handful of independents that are in there just
to stir up the pot, but will not win? I need my Canadian poli-sci 101!
Oct 13, 2008 @ 05:16 pm

5 different parties

Yup, we've got 5 parties - 1 from the right (conservative); 1 representing quebec (bloc quebecois); and 3 on a sliding scale of pretty left (NDP) to center left (Liberals & the Green Party).

That's the problem we're currently facing in Canada. The 3 different parties representing the left are splitting the votes. So we end up with a conservative minority win with only 34-39% of the votes, even though close to 60% of voters prefer the ideologies of the left (notice the overwhelming support for Obama in Canada!).

And what's interesting and exciting about this election is the emergence of 'hi-tech' organized strategic voting. The neo-con inclinations of the minority conservative government has spawned a whole grassroots ABC movement. ABC = Anything But Conservative. There's a pretty sophisticated site that tells you based on the last election and the most current polls who's most likely to win against the conservatives in each riding. Another effort is a facebook group started by a political science student that does pretty much the same, but takes it one step further - vote swapping. How it works - say someone from riding #10 joins the group and she supports the Liberals. But the party that has the best chance to win against the conservatives in her riding is the NDP candidate. Then she will be paired with someone who supports the NDP but whose riding has a Liberal candidate that's most likely to win against the conservatives. Thus, theoretically, she's still supporting the party she endorses. This, of course has its downsides, most obvious being trust issues. It's all pretty clever. But at the same time, I can't help but feel a bit sad how much of a numerical game this whole democratic process is.
Oct 13, 2008 @ 08:27 pm

wow, interesting

Thanks for the lesson! I saw on Yahoo! news today that a conservative won the election. I was surprised at that given, as was noted, the overwhelming support for Obama from Canadians. The break down of the liberal parties, though, explains that clearly. Gotta band together to have a prayer at defeating the one conservative ticket.

I always joke that I'll move to Canada if McCain wins, and am more serious about that if Palin were to take the pres role. Good to know that it may not be any better up there (i.e. conservative).

Though, I do wonder if the definition of liberal and conservative is the same. For example, in general, Europe is far more liberal than the USA. So a Conservative from Europe may be thinking along the lines of a Liberal from the USA.
Oct 14, 2008 @ 04:43 pm
Ali de Bold

Election isn't over yet

We are actually still voting. In fact I need to go do that now! Funny someone reported a winner.

I'm not sure how our conservatives would compare to other parties around the world. Good question though. Does anyone else know?

And Spotty, Canada is pretty awesome. You can move here any time ;)
Oct 14, 2008 @ 06:05 pm

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