I watched the start and finish of the first English debate last night, and I listened to most of the rest on the radio. I think the format worked pretty well, except I felt at times that it would have been good to let the leaders get at each other’s throats! I was talking with some friends last night at Denny’s and we couldn’t figure out who Trina McQueen was. A quick Google search reveals that she is on the CBC’s Board of Directors. She did a good job of keeping everyone in line. Here are some thoughts on the debate:
- Jack Layton was definitely passionate, but he was also the only one who repeatedly went over time. Ms. McQueen had to cut him off quite a few times.
- Anyone else think it was funny that Gilles Duceppe kept saying that most of the issues were provincial and not national problems? That seemed to be his response to everything.
- I think that both Stephen Harper and Paul Martin did quite well. They seemed to be very sure of their answers. I also like that Harper spent more time promoting his own platform than trying to bring down the Liberals (unlike Duceppe, and to a lesser extent Layton).
- I still think the Green Party should have been part of the debate. I signed their petition.
- One of the best moments for Harper was when the question turned to Belinda Stronach – I think Harper handled that issue better than any of the other leaders.
- I don’t think any of them really answered questions about NAFTA very well. Seemed to me they all tried to skirt the issue. Same goes for the same sex marriage issue, there was nothing new presented, just the same old rhetoric from each.
I’m looking forward to the next debate – should be interesting. Not surprisingly, there are lots of news articles offering opinions on the debate if you missed it.