Having just watched the English language federal leader’s debate I have a few quick thoughts to share…
- Stephen Harper was shady as usual, and came across as very weak. The soft-spoken family-friendly sweater vest-wearing Mr. Dressup persona is a fraud. I agree with the talking heads on TV and the other leadership candidates. He’s out of touch. He’s not a leader.
- Jack Layton was very well spoken and had some good jabs at Harper.
- Stéphane Dion lives up to his reputation as a thoughtful man, and an intellectual. I fear that his intelligence and education won’t be respected by the relatively uneducated masses and conservatives who label him as an “egghead” as if it’s an insult. Shame on any adult for suggesting that. Since when is intelligence something that’s considered undesirable in a leader? This isn’t the United States.
- Elizabeth May also spoke well and had some good attacks on Harper. She earned her spot at the table, I feel this national exposure and recognition will finally earn the Greens some seats this election. I think she’s got a good shot at her own seat in Nova Scotia.
I’m not decided yet. Of course I’m not going to vote for those Reform party nutters, but I don’t know who in the middle/left I’ll be supporting. I was impressed by all of the viable candidates. Gilles Duceppe is conspicuously absent from my notes above because he only represents Quebec and doesn’t really give a shit about the rest of Canada.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for everyone to vote. If you haven’t been following the election yet, or haven’t thought of voting yet: Pick up a newspaper. Read up on your candidates. Read up on the election platforms of the parties. Check out Elections Canada for what you need to vote.
On October 14th, as long as you’re actually eligible, go exercise your democratic right and cast your vote.
8 AM Update:
Ok, the radio this morning is telling me that according to pollsters, people think that Stephen Harper “won” the debate last night. I’m not sure which debate they were watching… Harper was so weak he flat out lost. None of the talking heads I watched last night even suggested that Stephen Harper had done well. After sleeping on it, I’m still of the opinion that the Greens, NDP and Liberals did do well. Stéphane Dion’s thoughtful academic approach showed good leadership. Elizabeth May had very good answers and good questions. And Jack Layton is pretty feisty when he gets riled up.
As all of the other candidates pointed out, Harper doesn’t even have a platform less than two weeks before an election that HE called. His campaign consists of sweater vests and attacking Stéphane Dion as “not worth the risk.” That’s political bullshit. I’ll take one of the leaders that does have plan, thank you very much.
I find it so shocking when people don’t vote, or vote recklessly without first finding out what the candidates stand for. My mother still gets my father to tell her who to vote for, though I try to undermine his choice (always Conservative). It is our civic duty to vote – it is the one time where we actually participate in the democratic process. I wish we had a daily referendum so I could vote every day.
I wonder how many votes Harper will sneak by in the advanced voting prior to releasing his platform. But at the same time, how many people actually read this stuff. It’s sad, but the sweater was probably his smartest political move during the campaign yet (though not the most honest).
Layton is an experienced union stooge, and his comment about NDP governments always balancing the books is a complete lie. They just about buried BC.
His promise to secure RSP’s and mutual funds is also completely impossible, and shows he know nothing about economics.
Dion is also nothing but a centralist. I loved how he dropped a few “tar sands” bombs in order to stir up some regional jealousy from the east. Great Prime Minister material…set parts of the country against one another.
If any of you are looking for an “honest” politician, then you’re obviously not ready to be let out of the house alone.