Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Quick Thoughts

The Conservative spin has already begun so watch tomorrow for the repetition of a phrase that Dion has changed his platform mid-campaign. It's absolute BS of course, but hey, that's going to be the line.

That they developed the line during the debate and sent it to all and sundry tells you they are on the defensive.

The other line that will be repeated often is that Harper was ganged up on. Boo Hoo. As if the PM in any such debate hasn't been the target in the past. There was one more person there, but nothing was different in that regard.

To me it was interesting to see Harper faced by real questions and the lack of adoration he has surrounded himself with during this campaign. He seemed uncomfortable with it and offered little in the way of answers. He sounded flat, looked unengaged and offered no real platform. It was either the Liberals started it, we've already done that, or we shouldn't do anything different.

I wonder if the press will start asking real questions when they go back on the road?

Dion did really well. Do you think I'm being biased? A friend just told me that both LaPierre and Chantal Hebert concurred on this point on the National. La Pierre was going by focus groups on TVA. It's tough to call all those people bias.

Duceppe and Layton performed well, but pretty much as they were expected to do. In terms of the absolute ability to debate and being perfectly comfortable in that element, Duceppe gets that award. I personally didn't feel that Layton accomplished the task of being a viable federal leader. May was up and down in terms of effectiveness, but was gutsy all the way through. She certainly doesn't shy away from speaking her mind and while her French was anything but good, she was able to make herself understood and it takes courage to do that.

More tomorrow.


Gayle said...

I am not sure the CPC are going to get away with their attempt to frame the LPC plan as switching platforms.

I certainly do not think it becomes Harper to complain about being picked on.

knb said...

You're right about that Gayle. He's used to being on the other side of that.

The French Quebec reviews are really good and if you consider that that was Dion's toughest audience, it wasn't a bad night at all.

The CPC will only get away with it if they are allowed to.

Dame said...

Excellent news .../we need smiling faces here /

more and more places giving the same conclusion..
here is one



knb said...

Thanks marta. Lot's of good reviews. Dion48%, Harper 18%.

I'll write a little later.

Allan said...

Not sure if it was the translators but I can't understand why people are saying Dion won. I thought he was ok but not great. I felt Harper Harper held his own though I wish he would have addressed some of the propoganda being pushed by the other leaders. They really like to paint him as being anti-democratic, as a bully to other ministers, and as a puppet of Bush. If this were trully the case Harper wouldn't have been to manage the longest lived minority government in Canadian history. He was able to bring concensus on many issues and kept many of the promises he made in the past election. It was very telling when the leaders were asked to say positive things about each other and only Harper was up to the challenge. He spoke about how he and Layton passed to major pieces of legislation even though they are see by all as being from the farthest sides of the polictical spectrum.

Dion was a poor choice by the Liberals as leader. There are many stronger party members. Though this was possibly the best I've seen him and I feel that he is probably a good person, I still left the debates feeling that he was a weak leader.

Now to be fair to all the Liberals reading this. There was one thing that bothered me about Harper, he really needs to stop smirking. I imagine its something he work on for future debates.

penlan said...

A couple of things ticked me off - well maybe more than a couple.

First, I was really annoyed with who was chosen to be Dion's translator. His voice was gravelly & "cracked" frequently, he slurred words together at times making it harder to understand the gist of the content of the sentences, & he had an accent that, to my ear, was hard to understand at times. All the other translators spoke in very clear, concise, easy to understand english. Not so Dion's.

Secondly, the moderator bypassed May so many times, not allowing her to have her say during certain questions in the 1st 45 mins. of the debate, but allowed all the other candidates to speak numerous times upon the topic of the moment. I found this absolutely maddening. He did include her more after that. But I found it rude, as though she was non-existent.

Harper also tended to put that idiotic smile on his face when she was speaking, looking at her at the same time with a total condescending look on his face. Like he was looking at a small child & being accomodating. Gah!

Also I was surprised that Harper wasn't called out more when he outright lied. Like when he said it was the Liberal's fault that inspectors were cut from the CFIA & that he has added 200 more. He HASN'T added those inspectors yet! And it was he who made the cuts & changes, in March, to allowing self-regulation at the Maple Leaf plants, eg.

And the talking points after the debate at CBC were abominable. Suhanna Meherchand only read e-mails from anti-Dion writers & even Newman made disparaging remarks on Dion.

I think Dion did extremely well & stayed on topic where others often didn't. And he was assertive & clear & to the point on everything.

I'm just ticked off over all the other stuff.

penlan said...

Allan said:

"They really like to paint him as being anti-democratic, as a bully to other ministers, and as a puppet of Bush. If this were trully the case Harper wouldn't have been to manage the longest lived minority government in Canadian history."

Harper managed the longest living minority govt. by BULLYING his way to it. He has the longest record for making almost every bill a confidence vote - even though a confidence vote is only supposed to be used for budgets & financial considerations. No other Cdn govt. has anywhere near his record on that.

And his record would have been even longer if he hadn't called an unecessary election by breaking his own enacted law. And he did this because he knows what's coming down the pike economically & knows that once it hits & destroys some peoples lives he would never be re-elected.

He's a slimy liar of the highest degree.

Allan said...

I'm not sure if you understand the political process but when a government is in minority if they fail to pass a resolution then they loose the confidence. This means that they are forced into an election. If the other parties felt that they did not agree with the policies of Harper they had many opportunies to defeat him in the house. They did not do so. If anything this shows political skill on the part of Harper not bullying. You can't bully people how have the power to defeat your government.
Harper is one of the few politicians in my life time that has done as he said he would whether you agree with what he said he do or not. Liberals promise many things and are excellent at talking about doing things do never actually do anything. Harper promised to give a care care benefit in the last election he did it. He promised to cut the GST (which helps low income people the most, since they live much more out of pocket. For those really poor that don't pay income tax, it was the only tax they paid so reducing it gave them the greatest benefit) the GST went from 7% to 5% as promised. Harper did things that I didn't agree with for example he had a vote on the same sex marriage. He promised he would and made it a non party line vote and it failed but he did it because of his own personal convictions, which I respect. He has not lied strangely unlike many politicians he did what he said we would.

On the another note, the voices used for all of the candidates in English were funny. I think Layton's sounded the best probably why I felt he came across better than usual. I have surfed blogs from all the parties and noticed same complaints that there leader's interruptors voice was the worst.

Maybe this is one point we can all agree upon :)

wilson said...

Dion definitely exceeded expectations. Tho he didn't standout, Dion showed his conviction. Tho I thought for a man who fought the seperatists sooooo hard, it was unnerving to see Dion always giving Duceppe the head nod, in agreement.
Duceppe and Dion seemed to be comrades.

When 80% of the debate is given to Harper bashing, and the 20% PMSH had was constantly interrupted, Harper was never going to win this debate. that was a given before it started.

a few notes
-Duceppe did not say one word about Quebec seperation.
-Jack looked good, sounded good and firmed up his support.
-Any NEP is off the table because Quebers want to protect hydropower.
-If the Quebec debate is any indication, Lizzy will take the 'liar, fraud' thing too far.
-Dion will have to flesh out his surprise 30 day plan, a plan to consult, have meetings, get advice.

knb said...

Allan, you are living in the dream world that Harper created for you.

He is a bully and anti-democratic.

He never worked for concensus and rarely got it. He knew that the Lib's couldn't call an election and used that to his advantage along with Jack's help.

Define leader.

knb said...

penlan, I started by listening in both English and French but finally stuck to French which was much better. Though I can't say that the translator put me off, it's just that you miss so much.

Hat's off to them though. That has to be one of the toughest jobs.

Yes, Harper's body language was tight, scripted and as Dryden would say, pinched. He did not have a good night and what does it say when you are uncomfortable with looking natural?

He wasn't called out per se, but there were comments made, thrown out in French that weren't picked up by translation. Things like, not true and my personal favourite by May, franchement!, which roughly means frankly! This was after harper said he had the best enviro. plan.

I didn't listen to Suhanna but having watched her a bit through the election, I'm not surprised.

Dion was great.

knb said...

Harper is one of the few politicians in my life time that has done as he said he would whether you agree with what he said he do or not.

Like abiding by the fixed election date law?

Like not taxing Income Trust?

Like not fully implementing the Accountability Report?

Oh the list is too long, but the blinders that the
CPC hand out to their own are very, very good.

knb said...

wilson, I understand your Duceppe, Dion statement, but what you miss is as it relates to many social issues, there is little light between the two and Layton for that matter. Also, it is very pertinent at it relates to Quebec.

There is nothing about the 'separtist' platform that Dion would agree on.

The 30 day plan was a master stroke as it turned out. He was the only one at the table who had a plan to take action which contrasted beautifully with Harper's relax be happy attitude.

In fact I'd go farther. I'd say he took on a paternalistic tone and indicated that he'd look after things. Quebecers hate that.