Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Le Debat

Although the french debate has been moved to accomodate millions of rabid hockey fans, the new date does not convenience me.

So I leave this as an open thread to comment on the debates - I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow morning with some thoughts, after I've seen the tape.

Like you, I look forward to learning what the french word for "bling" is.


  • My opinion, Layton started winning at 8:20 and still is.... poor showing by Ignatieff so far.

    Harper's holding his own well-enough.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 8:39 PM  

  • 8:20 Layton shuts up Ignatieff when Ignatieff rudely interrupts and won't stop talking -- eventually, he relents to Layton

    8:50 Layton repeats, this time with Duceppe who interrupts and won't stop talking, and eventually must relent.

    I don't know anything about the economic facts and figures they're throwing around but Layton's really impressing me tonite.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 8:56 PM  

  • Harper doing really well. However, Layton is putting it to Iggy & Duceppe and looks like he'll be tonites winner. If it hasn't happened already, this is the beginning of the end for Liberals in Quebec.

    By Anonymous Dave B., at 9:16 PM  

  • 9:30 wow Ignatieff gets passionate and feisty at last and puts up a good fight versus the separatists

    Not sure he won it but he didn't give up and for once I was impressed with him

    Duceppe is flustered and angry

    Harper gets in the best line amidst the bickering: "Imagine another government with these parties" -- hahaha

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 9:37 PM  

  • I think so too Dave

    Layton's really got his game on tonite and Ignatieff, save for 9:30's spark, is out of his league on every question...

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 9:38 PM  

  • I'm surprised to hear Layton say he wants to reopen the Constitution. Has the NDP always taken that position or is this something new?

    I really liked hear Ignatieff argue with Duceppe about this issue - seemed like a good debate.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:42 PM  

  • 9:45 Just tuning in recently, so can't comment earlier, but Layton seems pretty rude with his interruptions and the moderator had to ask several times for him to be quiet. Meanwhile, Ignatieff brought the topic back to the citizen's question. Perhaps Layton was doing better earlier, but Ignatieff handled the difficult Afghanistan issue well, showing Layton respect while disagreeing with him. Can't say the same for Layton.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:49 PM  

  • Loved Duceppe telling Layton "as the sky is piercing blue, you won't be PM" - that seemed to have deflated Jack's head a bit!

    By Blogger Tof KW, at 9:50 PM  

  • Ignatieff was stronger in the last half hour imo

    Harper probably won in terms of "not losing", he held it together and was smooth and never angry

    Layton was strong tonite but got all his best chances in the first hour/90 mins. Best performance I've seen from him

    I thought Duceppe was angrier than usual, and under-performed.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 10:04 PM  

  • I'm surprised to hear Layton say he wants to reopen the Constitution. Has the NDP always taken that position or is this something new?

    Abolishing the Senate would mean reopening the Constitution.... But I hope he wasn't serious. Far better politicians have gone there and been destroyed by it.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 10:09 PM  

  • I found Layton to be quiet in the first half of the debate, as if he couldn't find the proper hooks to jump in the discussion. He handled himself better later on.

    At around the 0:40 minute mark, it looked like Harper was almost going to lose control after Duceppe's constants attacks, but he managed to hold on.

    I liked this debate better than yesterday's. More energy, more discussions, better answers to the questions asked. I'm looking forward to see how things move from here.

    By Anonymous Doctacosa, at 10:34 PM  

  • "I hope he wasn't serious."

    About as serious as he was about running for Prime Minister.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 10:37 PM  

  • Thanks for the recap. Now I've just got to find somewhere to watch it online, since my DVDR didn't record it properly.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:54 PM  

  • Harper's voice was really strange. Soft and wimpy - he sounded as though he was talking to a 5 year old girl who was crying.

    And he got well and truly thumped on the last question about Canada's role in the world.

    By Anonymous Jeff, at 11:11 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 11:39 PM  

  • Can somebody just tell me who won, really unambiguously. I don't want to know that there was no knockout blow, I want to know the score of the game - no hedging of bets. Does it matter? Maybe not. Neither do most hockey games, since almost everybody makes the playoffs.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 12:06 AM  

  • H2H,


    I imagine you'd say that by not losing (imo he didn't), Harper won.

    In terms of surprising me out of my apathy, I thought Jack Layton won. Ignatieff and Duceppe threw the first interruptions of the night, he just out-talked them until they gave up. His attitude was best all night, enthusiastic and feisty but never out of control. If I beamed down today and didn't know the NDP (and mistakenly believed the people here were able to vote for their executive branch), I'd say he won.

    But, this is a TV political debate, not a serious discourse with points that ever swayed me.

    IMO If I didn't know who was who, and was told only one was a francophone, I would have guessed Layton was the French-Canadian.

    Duceppe was angry and lost his composure (he certainly got mad and lost his cool and expressed himself with angry conviction -- so if you're a separatist, he won). Also I think he's deluded in his separatist ambitions, and it came across tonight.

    I would have said Duceppe lost, but Ignatieff gave the weaker showing imo. Why do people say, "Gosh too bad his accent is Parisen"...? Imo his French was the worst tonight (thanks to May's exclusion). His answers were weak and uninspiring and canned. Maybe he performed better in English (I didn't watch the Eng), but his constant repetition of "democracy in Canada" was dreary. Like someone already said, "No one trusts the Liberals enough on the whole ethics thing" (actually I think that was Dan himself?), and his efforts to express trite ideas in a language he's not really comfortable with seemed phony and car-salesman-y.

    (Did you know C-3PO's original personality in the early drafts was actually that of a slick American used car-salesman? The Brit butler schtick came much later.)

    However his "It's 2011, Mr. Duceppe. 2011. It's 2011" act was a highlight though. He didn't go far enough to make a very strong impression on anyone's ideas about the federation, yet it was good "theatre", which is what "debates" are fought on on TV...

    Harper was great! I know, many Liberals and NDPers see "a phony robot", but if I beamed in from another planet tonite, I'd've seen a Walt Disney family movie Central Casting recruit for "Prime Minister of a Westminster-style Parliamentary System". I half-expected him to pull out a pocketwatch and wipe his glasses with an 'SH' hankerchief. I guess that really, he "looked the most like a Prime Minister" - so, perhaps he was the winner after all. Hmmmm.

    I've heard from partisan leftists that he doesn't speak French -- obviously, every reader here knows he does. It was really good tonight, I was jealous. He frustrated Duceppe to distraction. Tonight helps him and Layton, imo.

    But the REAL loser is Elizabeth May. I bet $50 at least half the reason for her exclusion is her shitty French. She's really incredibly bad. Yet another nail she's pounded into the Green Party coffin.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 1:15 AM  

  • Here's a Le Devoir analysis:

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:20 AM  

  • JBV, how would it be received if a party leader whose English was weak sent a Quebec deputy to the French debate instead?

    For example, if Jacques Rivard, Claude Sabourin or Georges Laraque were to speak for the Green Party instead of May? Is it a major affront in a party leader can't speak both official languages at least as well (at a minimum) as Joe Clark?

    Perhaps it would be considered ok for a minor party like the Greens, but would it also fly if, say, Kim Campbell had sent Jean Charest in 1993? Or Preston Manning had sent (somebody?) in 1997?

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:30 AM  

  • Personally, I'd find the idea bizarre.

    To be PM, a person has to be serious - you have to communicate with French and English Canada both.

    Quality comes first, though. I'd certainly consider voting for a unilingual Nobel peace or chemistry winner, say.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 11:24 AM  

  • Ignatieff really looked bad. He seemed awkward, he stumbled over words and he spent a lot of time on the defensive. He made a couple of good points. He's at his best when he's one-on-one vs. Harper, but with Layton and Duceppe on Stage, he looks out of his depth. He seemed a lot less sure of himself than he did during the English debate.

    Layton looked really strong, he looked more like a contender than he's ever looked. He was angry but not losing it, and he kept the focus on bread and butter issues. He talked a lot about unemployment. This could be the election where the NDP finally sees a breakthrough in Quebec (if you believe the polls, which is a big if), but it depends if voters are willing to take the risk. Duceppe's line: "Mr. Layton and I both know that he's never going to be PM, the only difference is I'm actually willing to come out and say it."

    Duceppe got some good one in, but I think the Bloc is always helped by the fact that they're not really seeking power: his best moments were challenging the other parties on really specific policy questions and watching them evade the question.

    Harper's performance was basically a repeat of the English debate (He actually turned his head a couple time, though). He looked calm, and sort of above it all, which is what he was going for. He talked about low taxes a lot.

    By Anonymous HonestB, at 11:42 AM  

  • Jacques Beau Vert is right (quelle surprise).

    The biggest loser last night was Gilles Duceppe. Again, pithy and pointless. Too much bling in his zing. The ridings the Tories want are not ridings bursting with people losing sleep over UNESCO. Duceppe's got nothing for them - and apparently thinks all they do is chop wood all day.

    The slightly-less-loser is Iggy. He wasn't horrible last night - but, he's no Stephane Dion either. Anything he says about the nature of Quebec and Canada, he says like he's a BBC producer how got a paid junket to Toronto to do a piece on Quebec-Canada.

    Jack Layton was the best of the three lefties. Chipper and full of energy. It is mind boggling the man has overcome so much physical hardship in the past year or so and can look so much more energized and dynamic than Duceppe and Ignatieff. He may be politically ridiculous, but Jack Layton is damned awesome Canadian.

    Of course, Jack Layton winning just adds to how much the Prime Minister won last night. In the ridings he is targeting, I think he scored huge points against Duceppe and Iggy.


    The Champlain Bridge argument will ring true to a lot of people "dans les regions." (I was in the Beauce yesterday and, it is spring afterall, the roads were rutted worse than Britney Spears after a 48-hr bender.)

    By Anonymous chuckercanuck, at 1:31 PM  

  • All you Ignatieff-haters are just jealous because Ignatieff is a stud and you are fat, basement-dwelling creeps who live on a diet of twinkies and Dr. Pepper.

    Ignatieff not only won the two debates, he won all debates ever had between anyone, anywhere.

    When he spoke about democracy, I got a chill up my leg. When he spoke about his family swipe card thing, I thought for a second that Jesus was talking to me.

    I was so blown away, I thought if his finger lit up and he touched the tv screen with it, we'd all be cured of everything. Like ET himself, am I thrilled Iggy got home.

    By Anonymous Blooming Flowers for Ignatieff, at 2:21 PM  

  • Ignatieff was weak
    Layton - strong
    Harper poised
    Duceppe - pissed

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:31 PM  

  • Here's Ignatieff's problem. He did much better in the French debates however:

    10 million Canadians watched the English language debate at least in part.

    Anglos and Bilanguos in Montreal and the townships, as well as the Outaouais (outside Ottawa) are the only people in Quebec likely to vote Liberal, and will have tuned into the English debate that he lost.

    He's not fighting for the Francophone vote. They just don't vote Liberal. He won the wrong debate.

    Harper could have done better and is fighting for Francophone ridings in around Quebec City. We'll see if his poor debate showing matters, but he's out bearing gifts to Quebec City today.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:10 PM  

  • Jacques Beau Vert is right

    The ridings the Tories want
    Extra agreed....

    about the nature of Quebec and Canada, he says like he's a BBC producer
    He's a flop on the issue, always was since he first arrived on the poli scene

    mind boggling the man has overcome so much physical hardship .... so much more energized and dynamic than Duceppe and Ignatieff
    Agreed Prizefighter last night.

    rutted worse than Britney Spears after a 48-hr bender

    You may see your Harper Majority dream come true this time around CC... we'll know in less than 3 wks...

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 5:50 PM  

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