well I mentioned I opine a bit more on the above. I have to admit I find the news reports interesting, first of all I went to the Sympatic/MSN/CTV.ca report and I felt this was a fair point. I would agree that the winner, not by much, was Stepehn Harper. I say this because he was the coolest under fire, he made his points and his overall presentation was good. If there is a big loser it has to be Paul Martin. He seems unsure of himself although to be honest being placed on the defensive from the get go was not the best way to be. However he should have realized he would be the centre of attention. As much as he tried to deflect it to Harper, it seemed to fail. The person having the most fun was Gilles Ducette, although there was an interesting moment when he challenged Stephen Harper on french rights outside of Quebec, Harper mentioned that it was 'rich coming from a man who's done nothing to protect English rights in Quebec'. Jack Layton did well, making sure Paul Martin was aware of all his broken promises of the past ten years. He did say that he was miffed that Martin constantly talked about the fact there was only two parties that could form the government. He was perturbed and kept bringing it up.
On the social issues, namely abortion and same sex marriage, a couple interesting discussions, Paul was attacking Stephen on his threat to use the 'notwithstanding' clause of the Charter. He said it was terrible that the Conservatives would attempt to stifle the rights and freedoms of Canadians, and that He Paul would protect the rights of all Canadians. Stephen seemed to have gotten through that relatively unscathed. It was an interesting point that Jack Layton went more after Paul Martin on this point, his mentioned that at least with Stephen Harper you knew his opinion. He criticized the PM for not expressing an opinion and hiding behind the Supremem Court. Mr. Martin was asked by M. Doucette to state his personal opinion about marriage, all Paul did was blather on about the constitution and the Charter.
Memo to Paul Martin: fire your handlers and trainers, they did a horrible job preparing you for this debate. You had to know what you were to be confronted on. One of the funnier moments I thought was when he and Jack Layton went on about missle defence with the Americans, aka Star Wars 2. All Paul Martin could babble on was 'weaponization of space'. What was funny is that he didn't say it once, or just twice, but on and on. My son and I wondered how drunk you could get if you placed a 'weaponization of space' drinking game.
Paul was flustered throughout the two hours, even when he tried to sound Prime Ministerial he was flat. Whatever momentum the Liberals hoped went crashing and burning on that night.
To keep a sense of fairness, I went to the Toronto Star website and of course they declared Paul Martin the winner. Chantel Hebert had a most interesting take, saying that it will help Paul Martin's chances, huh? For what? Certainly not to win, sorry Chantel, you're confused. Another columnist, Antonio Zerbisias wrote in her column: "But last night, during the English language federal leaders debate, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper couldn't make eye contact". That's odd Antonio, he was always looking at the people he was address, Jack kept looking at the camera, Martin was going twenty shades of red and Gilles was having a good time. Then again, you got to remember this is the Toronto Star, the inhouse organ of the Liberal party of Canada. Memo to Antonio, I watched the debate, I didn't listen to the radio, or to streaming audio on the net, via TV and guess what, your bias is showing darling.
Well, that's my take. Was there an outright winner, no, was there an outright lose, yes, Paul Martin.