October 3, 2008 by Allen George
Leaders Debate ’08
It was a neat event, and I thought the roundtable format worked well; I’d like to see it repeated in subsequent elections. I had expected Harper to do better than he did, and was surprised at how weak his performance was, especially on the economy. At times I half expected him to shrug and say: “Ahhh . . . these things happen“. Also noteworthy was how very, very little Harper had to say about the plans for hist next mandate. What will the Conservatives do when they’re back in power? Well, as they say, that’s an “Exercise for the reader“.
Dion did better than I expected, though he should have made his message more concrete. What does the Liberal party platform mean to the farmer, the out-of-work auto worker, or the parents juggling kids. How much more money in their pockets . . . No eye-glazing policy recitals though. Elizabeth May also performed well. Definitely got her share of shots at Harper, moreso than Dion. Jack Layton? Well, if I hear “Exxon” being bandied one more time . . . All kidding aside, he was definitely the attack dog of them all, and it was always entertaining. Also the first leader to mention the aboriginal people. That says a lot – I can’t imagine that their vote as a block is very large or influential. And Gilles? Well, he knows he’s not going to be prime minister and, as he pointed out, neither are three of the others. Ouch!
You know what – it was interesting. Interesting to watch, laugh at, at times, and contrast leadership styles. Hadn’t expected that.