Monday, January 09, 2006

The Most Important Debate Ever

Paul Martin has a habit of using hyperbole but I don't think it's a stretch to say that the back-to-back debates coming up will be among the most important since 1988. And it's certainly not a stretch to say that Paul Martin's political future rests in his performance tonight. A lot of Canadians will be watching; it's a Monday, no Canadian NHL teams are playing, the campaign has been in the news a lot lately, and it's two weeks until voting day. A lot of Canadians realize they need to make up their mind and tonight will solidify voting intentions and push voters in a given direction.

For Harper, he can ease up a bit on the attacks tonight. He's now the front runner, so he just needs to look like a Prime Minister. Don't be smug, but look confident and decisive. Highlight the Tory plan and be sure to refute any Liberal attacks brought forward.

For Layton, he needs to make himself relevant. Tell Canadians that they need NDP MPs to keep whichever party wins in line. He needs to start planting the idea that the NDP can keep the Tories in check should they win.

For the first time since he's been a party leader, Gilles Duceppe has to pay attention to Stephen Harper. While I fully expect Gilles to attack Martin on Option Canada and Paul's reluctance to "meet him on every street corner", he needs to go after Harper too.

For Paul, it's now or never. I hope he got some rest this weekend, because he has looked tired lately. Martin needs to show energy and make the debate about policy. Highlight the overshadowed Liberal policies and attack Harper's plan.

It should be fun. I'll be on-line as I watch, with live blogging updates.


Completely off-topic UPDATE: Andrew Coyne has some downright shocking news on the polling front. Decima has the Tories up by 9 points, with the NDP going strong at 20%. In addition, Ipsos Reid is rumoured to be releasing a poll tonight with the Tories up by 11. And Ekos refused to release their latest poll because the results were so shocking they had to go back into the field to confirm them.

11 Comments:

  • I believe Martin has the cold that has been going around, which is unsurprising giving the campaign. For that I don't fault him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:52 PM  

  • I take it your “completely off-topic” update description was completely facetious.

    By Blogger Red Tory, at 6:02 PM  

  • Damn Conservatives are using germ warfare.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:04 PM  

  • Knowing Martin's vile temper, part of the entertainment value of watching is the possibility of a full-on meltdown. He has looked close from time to time, but maybe it is that cold after all.

    By Blogger OttawaCon, at 6:24 PM  

  • Most important for sure. I just entered the Decima poll into my seat forecaster and boy does it look bad for the Liberals.

    By Blogger The Truth Hurts, at 6:34 PM  

  • I've only said it 9 million times. I've been talking like that since the beginning of this election. Keep up the arrogance, and you'll have a repeat of 1984 on your hands. And I was called a "nut" for that view.

    You have no idea how good I feel to rub your nose in this like a cat who's just urinated on the carpet.

    By Anonymous Chris, at 6:34 PM  

  • Chris, for the hundred millionth time, stop with the hyperbole!

    By Blogger Patrick, at 6:58 PM  

  • Hmmm....maybe "somewhat off-topic" would have been a better lead in.

    Even the die hard Martin Liberals I've talked to over the past few days have been saying "unless Paul turns it around in the debates, Harper will win". These are people who thought Liberal majority at the start of the campaign.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 7:01 PM  

  • Should be a fun debate to watch. I put money on Martin pushing Harper to say something that shows his true colours. His acting has gone on long enough. If he doesn't trip up appreciably tonight, I fear a Conservative minority may be on its way.

    Though what really pisses me off about that is having to vote yet again a year from now when the Liberals and NDP and BLOC gang up to bring down the Conservative minority government.... God.

    By Blogger Emmajoe, at 7:10 PM  

  • Watching the Mike Duffy pre-debate show on CTV Newsnet.
    Just wondering, who would you rather have in cabinet: Rona Ambrose or Albina.
    Thought so.

    By Blogger The innkeeper, at 7:30 PM  

  • Joy McPhail is seriously hardcore.

    By Blogger Michael, at 10:35 PM  

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