Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Debate Live Blog

6:35 pm: Quite the tie Tim Hudak is sporting.

6:46 pm: For those keeping track of mentions of random "hard working Ontarian" anecdotes, we've heard about the problems facing Ryan, Kevin (the Wallmart worker), and Katherine so far.

6:54 pm: Interesting set...is everyone up for a game of paintball afterwards?

6:56 pm: McGuinty has put on his glasses and is taking notes. Nothing says "don't harm our fragile economic recovery like wearing glasses."

7:20 pm: Anyone else wish Gilles Duceppe was up there, just for old time's sake?

7:23 pm: "Facts are always helpful" - that basically sums up McGuinty's debate so far.

7:29 pm: Andrea Horwath tells a touching story about a young girl who came up and hugged her because she thought Andrea's platform was so amazing.

7:45 pm: Horwath has now brought up her mother, her brother, and son during the debate. Still waiting to hear what Uncle Bud thinks of the HST.


  • The first politician I ever rooted for was an Ontario PC named Mike, so I always try to pay attention to Ontario politics (you can also keep that in mind, if you want to apply a curve to my comments).

    I think Dalton McGuinty came across like a premier. I think his attempt to make Ontario a green energy superpower is stupid, but he framed it successfully as a jobs issue. His command of the facts made him look like the grownup in the room. This was a big improvement over past debates I've seen McGuinty in.

    I think Hudak came off a lot better than I thought as well. His delivery was good, but his substance was often weak. Take out a minute to talk about what happened in Spain and Czecholslovakia, which are far more natural green energy hubs, instead of citing a study (which incidentally came out of the Heritage Institute).

    Horwath sounded like she was running to be an Alderman in Kenora. She's definitely in the Howard Hampton mould, but less knowledgeable.

    I realize the consensus, as it always is, will be that "McGuinty held his own". But as a sitting premier, with a substantial lead on the "best premier" question, he needs to do better than that. However, I think he did.

    What is more, a bad NDP performance, may bring more votes McGuinty's way, even if more people favoured the NDP.

    At the end of the day, this is good news for Bob Rae. McGuinty has thus far given Rae a solid run as worst premier ever, and with four more years, I'm sure he can seal the deal.

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 8:16 p.m.  

  • I thought it was interesting how rarely anyone answered any of the question. They seemed more concerned about selling their platform.

    And did I miss the Northern Ontario section?

    McGuinty could have fought back more, especially on the "affirmative" action accusation and the Northern Ontario bit.

    Horwath relied heavily on ancedotes. Possibly too heavily. Yes, we get that you're folksy, but it got a bit much. The one about the broken elbow -- did she want a cast for her son? Normally, they put broken elbows in splints. Also, she should have directed her son to a walk-in clinic not an emergency room (my personal bias. Unless it's a life threatening emergency, it's best to go to a family doctor or a walk-in).

    Hudak -- nice teary moment when he talked about his daughter. When he mentioned his wife (daughter?) staying at Women's College Hospital, all I could think of was the controversial decision back in 1998 to "merged" it with Sunnybrook. Happened during the Mike Harris years. It was in 2006, under the Liberals, when the hospital regained its independence.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 8:47 p.m.  

  • Hudak clearly won the debate.

    Heck, McGuinty looked like he was taking a dump onstage in the first few minutes.

    So - is the cancellation of the power plant (trying to save a few Liberal seats) now cancelled?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:31 a.m.  

  • The problem with the "facts are always helpful" is that McGuinty regularly only cites the facts that are helpful to him. It's risky to rely on as often as he did.

    Personally Horwath's anecdotes were a bit much for me - for once, I'd like to see someone just answer the question without thanking the asker, recognizing the importance of the issue, referencing how important this issue is to their family, and then telling a story about someone else's family before getting into their answer - but I think it worked for her in the sense that she's portraying herself as not just another political automaton in a suit. I thought she was effective at differentiating herself from the other two.

    Hudak started strong but lost his effectiveness early on. He plays a high stakes game that can make people tune out. He doesn't understand that people expect a guy like him to be less Rob Ford and more John Tory minus the religious school pledge. (PS - I hope the Liberals helped him retire his campaign debt afterwards, because that is what kept them as a majority.) Tax machine, sneaky eco tax, tax grab, lower your tax, lower corporate taxes, lower everyone's tax etc.etc.etc. it's old. Like the image on the front of the podiums last night, it's too 1994. They expect more from a guy like him. His answers on post-secondary were impossibly weak.

    By Anonymous Marc from soccer, at 8:19 a.m.  

  • McGuinty likes facts? Why doesn't he cite any?

    CIHI studied wait times across Canada, and the only procedure for which wait times in Ontario are the lowest in Canada are hip replacement surgeries scheduled about six months in advance. And we have no way of knowing when the doctor started the clock on the procedure - was it only after the patient was scheduled? Or when they first visited the doctor a couple years earlier?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:22 p.m.  

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