Week 3 in Review: Hash-Tag FAIL
Which is fitting, since the entire election is still searching for a storyline - three weeks in, and it's still difficult to sum up what this election is all about.
Poll Soup: I'll post updated projections tomorrow. For now, Nanos has the Tories up 39-28 and Ekos has it 35-28. Both show the NDP making modest post-debate gains. Oh, and Ipsos has concluded the "Outcome of election rests with fence-sitters".
Election Prediction Project: CPC 112, Lib 61, NDP 26, Bloc 35, Too close 74
Quote of the Week: For the third straight week, we have to give it to Gilles Duceppe for the opening line of the English debate: “I would like to congratulate Mr. Harper for answering a question from a citizen for the first time in this campaign.”
Tweet of the Week: From @InklessPW: At 1911 Laurier-Borden debate in Flin Flon, Laurier didn't understand when Borden said "hashtag fail." Ended a great career.
In Case you Missed it:
Ad Watch: you can still rate the latest NDP, Liberal, and CPC commercials
French debate post-game thoughts
English debate BINGO card, pre-game analysis, live blog, and post-game thoughts
Liberal Week in Review
Battle Cry: "Rise up...below 30% in the polls!"
The week that was: It remains unclear whether or not Ignatieff exceeded the public's expectations in the debates, but it's safe to say he did not exceed the media's. Which shouldn't be a huge surprise - he was up against three men who have debates each other 7 times and have been playing the political game their whole lives. So it's understandable Ignatieff wouldn't match up in terms of style. Where he disappointed though, was on substance - his fixation on scandals and democracy simply ate up air time that should have been devoted to a very populist Liberal platform.
Battle Cry: "Give me my majority to prevent economic collapse, separatists, earthquakes, and an early round playoff exit!"
The week that was: Harper continues to be dogged by trivial scandals and, as I said last week, I'm sure that suits him just fine. After all, a day spent covering Helena Guergis is a day where Harper doesn't need to answer questions on Health Care, the $11 billion hole in his platform, or his record.
Trivialities like this also turn most voters off...and likely feed the feeling we should just shrug our shoulders and give Harper his majority, if only to give us all a 4-year reprieve from this "bickering". That was Harper's pitch in the debates and on the campaign trail last week.
This weekend, he added "separatists" to the ever-growing list of problems a Tory majority would solve - since, after all, Quebecers would respond well to having the rest of Canada ram a hugely unpopular Conservative government down their throats. Uh-huh.
NDP Week in Review
Battle Cry: "To all my NDP homies, let's bust a cap in this government's ass - semi-colon, dash, close brackets! "
The week that was: I'll be honest. I don't like the NDP, Layton's self-righteous tone, or his hypocritical stands on a range of issues. To put it into "hip" terms Layton would pretend to understand, I won't be clicking "like" on his Facebook page anytime soon.
But despite all this, I've got to admit Jack has impressed me this campaign. This is a man who has been battling cancer for a year, cannot walk without a cane, and couldn't get through a 3 minute scrum without sweating buckets a month ago. Yet this campaign he has been a force. He has shown more energy and vigour than the other leaders combined. On Tuesday, he stood for two hours, smiling, delivering witty jabs, and pivoting to sell NDP policies in his most sincere voice. Then he did it all again the next night.
As frustrating as it is to run into a hot goalie, or to see the opposing pitcher tossing a no-hitter, there comes a time when you just have to sit back and tip your hat to him. In what might very well be his final election, Layton has delivered one heck of a performance.