Friday, October 3, 2008

Notes from the debates

It was a busy night chez Piggy, what with two debates to watch, one couch to repair (the less said about that, the better), and a new batch of spiders to kill (more on that later).

As planned, I watched the Canadian debate live. Overall, I thought it was a rather lacklustre affair, with the occasional jab. The nod for best one-liner of the night surely must go to Jack Layton:

Some quick impressions:

Stephen Harper looked like he's been hitting the Botox. A fake smile and blank stare a lot of the time. He insisted on addressing his opponents by their first names, despite them all addressing him as either Prime Minister or Mr. Harper. But...he stayed on message and survived two hours of pounding from the other four.

Stephane Dion did well, but probably not well enough to make the difference. His English (which I've never had a problem understanding) was better than expected, and he made some good points.

Jack Layton certainly stayed on message, and was effective in going after both Harper and Dion. I generally agreed with most of his points, but I can't really warm to him; I find him a bit too show-boaty.

I wish Gilles Duceppe were a federalist.

Elizabeth May was probably the big winner, if we're looking long-term. I thought she did a good job; she spoke well, got some good jabs in, and effectively communicated that the Greens are not a single-issue party.

When all is said and done, it was Gilles Duceppe who summed it up best: "I know I won't be prime minister, and three of you won't be prime minister, either. Some of you know it, but you won't say it."

Right. On to the U.S. Vice Presidential debate.

It was not the train wreck it might have been (and, to be honest, that I hoped it would be). Sarah Palin got through it without a major gaffe. She did this by not responding to a single question with a real answer.

Joe Biden did a phenomenal job in maintaining a respectful approach to Palin. Of course, had he been facing anyone else, he would have been able to actually challenge and, I don't know, debate his opponent. But in this case, he would have faced charges of bullying. So, so ridiculous.

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