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.
If you’re a Canadian, and you don’t live under a rock, you’ve by now heard that Belinda Stronach crossed the floor today from the Conservatives to the Liberals (and the Canadian dollar rose as a result). If this is the first you’ve heard of the biggest political news of the current year, check out the 445 articles at Google News, then come back. Good. Now that you’re all caught up, let’s take a look at what the blogosphere is saying.
My good friend Brock says “Stronach, you’ve got no backbone.” He’s definitely not the only one with that opinion. Debris Trail goes even further:
Is this the Canada you want? Are we so apathetic and cynical and greedy that corrupt regimes can actually hope to hold onto power? Belinda Stronach is banking on exactly that.
Old Tomorrow says “I am finding it difficult to take Belinda Stronach seriously.” And Brian Walsh had this to say of Belinda’s future:
Only time will tell how this will affect you Beinda, I expect that your future in politics is to be short as you obviously have no patience and since you have a good job to go to at anytime, you will in fact leave the liberals in due course.
Blackhole has a pretty good analysis of Belinda’s move and what it might mean. Todd Warnell decided to use a little sarcasm to get his point across:
All in all, it is nice to see that the Liberal’s have already learned their lessons from the Gomery Inquiry and abandoned the practice of political bribery and kickbacks!
That’s just a taste of what’s out there. If you want to read more, the posts are coming fast and furious on Technorati, Feedster and BlogPulse. There’s a wealth of opinion and comment out there if you want to read it, and much of it is more representative of Canadians than what you’ll read in your local newspaper. Also be sure to watch this trend graph, which compares mentions of Belinda Stronach, Paul Martin, and Stephen Harper over the last month. I expect Belinda’s line will jump significantly tomorrow.
My opinion? I am just happy that Canadian politics are interesting again.
Read: Belinda Stronach