Saturday, December 17, 2005

Returning to a lectern near you

Oh yeah. The English language leaders' debate. Here's a random sampling of my thoughts, accurate to within 3.5 neurons, 19 times out of 20...

It was great to see the leaders getting comfortable with the new format. Each of them seems to have learned the tactical advantage in using your time to face your opponent, attack him savagely, and challenge him to respond... when (ha ha) he's not allowed to! Guerilla debating. Sweet.

But the jab-and-cover format also favoured the attackee at times. I doubt Harper's voodoo constitutional law approach to revisiting the definition of marriage without using the notwitstanding clause ("I'd hold a free vote...then behead a chicken") would have survived a round of rigourous cross examination at the hands of even the most mediocre of high school debaters. Or even Paul Martin.

Speaking whom, that whole "My children were born in Quebec, and I won't let you take my country away" barrage directed at Gilles Duceppe was very dramatic. Man was Pauly wound up. I think I saw Duceppe get hit with some stray spittle. I thought the PM was about to pull out Paul Junior's Quebec-issued Permis de Conduire and rip it up on camera: "Make no mistake. This... this is what the Bloc wants to do! What? You'll have cars in a soveriegn Quebec? My bad."

And last ('cause that's where he is), Jack Layton. Was it just me, or did he really spend the whole two hours just making monkey sounds interspersed with the phrases "Ed Broadbent" "hypocrisy" and "help for people"? Actually, each time repeated that last one, I couldn't help but think of that Seinfeld episode where George invents a charity, the Human Fund. It's made up slogan: "money for people". Which, let's be honest, is what Jack is talking about.

There. How was that for brevity? Better, I think. But I want to be careful not to be too quick and dirty. This is a blog, after all, not sex.
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