Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Odd Sensibilities

As we near the second and final debate tonight, I've been thinking about some of what has been written and uttered about last night. There seems to be a need by many to identify who won and who lost.

So what are people saying? Well many seem to 'feel' that Harper won because he stayed calm, didn't get angry, kept his cool and was able to deflect issues by saying that's not true or bizarrely, "I don't accept the truth of those facts".

I don't know about you, but that seems faint praise indeed.

I thought Ignatieff was strongest when speaking to the 'democracy and parliament' issue, though he more than held his own throughout. That particular issue though is one that he is clearly passionate about and one that resonates with people. Oh, not the nitty gritty detail of parliamentary procedure etc., (though some of us do love that!), the more fundamental case that he puts forward outlining Harper's style of governing and lack of respect for our democractic institutions.

When faced with these issues, Harper cheerfully (actually sullenly) obliges by arrogantly dismissing any such claims, then goes on to say things like: 'What worries me about having a minority is my fear that we'll have a 5th election, then a 6th election....' (paraphrased). That is an astonishing statement. He also, once again brushed of the contempt finding and referred to it and other such issues as 'bickering'. I think Ignatieff landed a great line at that point, 'Mr. Harper, that is not bickering, it's democracy'. (also paraphrased)

So, I look forward to tonight's debate, not really to see who wins, but rather to see who best demonstrates the sensibilities that I look for in a Prime Minister.


sassy said...

Last evening Harper looked like a robot build by a Scientologist.

A Eliz. said...

I wondered when I saw him staring woodenly at the camera, was he looking intensely at a teleprompter?

kirbycairo said...

I think Ignatieff is still a little stiff but Harper is downright inhuman, he lack any sense of warmth or compassion whatsoever. Furthermore, there is something eerily psychopathic about a man who can lie so blatantly and so calmly. And the lies are not subtle questions of interpretation but straight-up, boldfaced deceptions. People like Harper represent what is fundamentally wrong with politics; those who want power are often the very ones who shouldn't have it.

ottlib said...

Mr. Ignatieff performed well but he was a little strident at times.

Mr. Harper was calm but he was calm when he should have showed some emotion. He was accused a many things but he did not react even a little bit. That is most strange if you ask me.

As well, I turned off the sound yesterday during the debate for some time and just focused on body language.

For the most part Mr. Ignatieff looked relaxed and natural but his occasional stridency still came through. Mr. Harper just creeped me out. Very little body movement, very little head movement and a small mouth moving under dead eyes. I could not watch him with the sound off for very long.

Jacques Beau Vert said...

I only saw the French debate. Surprised a lot by Harper's performance, thought he was like out of a children's movie playing "Parliamentary Prime Minister". If I just arrived from overseas and saw the debate tonite, I'd say he seems warm and fuzzy. Layton had an amazing opening, I felt Duceppe showed very poorly overall but many others feel different. Ignatieff was the worst (and least comfortable in Fr).