Le Grand Debat
There wasn't much on the big topics - child care, US relations, handguns. So, at the very least, it served as a way to shed some light on a wide range of policy issues. Duceppe was probably the best, but he always has the easiest ride in these things. The fact that Adscam got a lot of play is bad for the Liberals, and Martin, even if Paul wasn't that bad in this debate.
Anyways, here's my minute by minute recap. There may be some large lags in there, when I dozed off or switched over to Wheel of Fortune.
6:03 pm: 15 seconds into his speech and Duceppe has already mentioned the Sponsorship Scandal.
6:04 pm: "A process that will end Canada"...wow. Way to keep the hollow rhetoric down Paul.
6:05 pm: Look at the bloody camera Stephen!
6:07 pm: "We will reduce the cost of drugs" - Jack Layton is trying to cozy up to Boiclair, I see.
6:11 pm: Guess who? "We tried to make Parliament work".
6:18 pm: Duceppe loves talking Sponsorship, doesn't he? He's definitely winning so far.
6:23 pm: Duceppe, on access to information: "We got documents that looked like crossword puzzles with more black squares than white ones." heh.
6:30 pm: The moderator says "you have all made tens of thousands of dollars in promises..." What election are you watching? Hopefully it was just a bad translator.
6:35 pm: Paul's helping the hearing impaired by giving all his answers in sign language.
6:42 pm: Harper says he doesn't understand the question for the second time. I don't blame him - these questions are just...dumb.
6:51 pm: There's a question on homeless people dying. Be careful Jack...
7:01 pm: Booo! No beer and popcorn jokes during the child care portion. Is anybody going to say anything remotely confrontational tonight?
7:29 pm: Someone asks a question on when Quebec will ratify the constitution. Good grief.
7:33 pm: The CBC has live blogging updates here.
7:41 pm: Zing! Martin gets the question about the "referendum election" and whether or not he'd recognize a BQ majority as a "yes" vote. Martin tries to blame Duceppe for starting it. I'll quote Paul Wells on this one:
And what does he do when his adversaries say something absurd? Jump right in:
"If that's how they see it, we'll fight on that basis." So if Boisclair and Duceppe announced that Canadians would be electing the next prime minister of Spain on Jan. 23, apparently Martin would start campaigning in a lispy Castilian accent.
7:44 pm: Duceppe's response is very forceful, calling the Liberals "liars" several times. He gets the hard follow up from the moderator about a large number of Bloc MPs being good for sovereignty.
7:52 pm: I take back my prediction for question Duceppe would least like to see. The question is "what's your vision of Canada in 30 years?".
7:53 pm: OK, OK. Duceppe handles it alright. Layton rambles on about social programs. Harper goes on about "endless potential" again. Martin says "I've already made spending announcements up to the year 2036, so obviously I have the best vision for the country." (OK, not really)
CBC has a full play-by-play here. They're better people than I am for staying awake through this thing. Of course, they are probably getting paid for it.