Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Debates

If the two men running to lead this country keep their promises, we are heading for a consitutional debate no matter who wins. During the debate, Harper supported Charter property rights, while Martin said he would remove the notwithstanding clause from the Charter altogether. Layton quickly pointed out that he supports the notwithstanding clause, to protect things like health care.

Both debates were better than the first two, but all leaders were relatively predictable and stuck to their prepared scripts and attacks. I enjoyed the French debates more, even though Harper's improving french skills remain almost as painful as Duceppe's english. I would much rather bilingual debates, instead of the Quebec and Canada versions that we have now. Harper had the most to gain tonight, with poll numbers showing him now leading the Liberals in Quebec and stealing Bloc support.
He told Quebeckers that he wanted them to give him a cabinet minister, and that the Bloc would always be powerless. Martin stuck to theme that Duceppe won't be able to stop Harper.

The most entertaining moments of both debates came from Paul Martin. Last night he stated that Aboriginals were a root cause of poverty. He then referred to the Metis and First "Nations", but would only call Quebec a "peuples". During the debate tonite he accused Layton of supporting property rights, but not a women's right to choose. This got Layton yelling, and Martin never said whether he had actually meant to say Harper.

Harper held is own in a language he is not entirely comfortable with, and Quebeckers will likely recognize the effort he has made. This was also the first French debate in a long time where a leader outside of the Liberals or the Bloc was viewed as a contender. Harper will likely get a few seats in Quebec on Jan. 23rd, provincial Liberals and former federal Liberals are even helping the campaigns of CPC candidates in Quebec.

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