The morning after the night before. Harper muddied the waters (ie lied his ass off)enough to survive. He threw out statistics and programs out at random, without context, in order to give an appearance that his government is actually governing (which is in fact, the last thing it wants to do). Albertans should be proud of him. He defends their interests very, very well. On the other hand, he seemed quite indifferent to Ontario and Quebec's problems. Telling unemployed people to be patient while the economy changes is a charming theory, but for someone paying a mortgage, it is a bit too "Ivory Towerish" (and I think Layton scored some points for that Volvo plant in Goderich example). For someone trying to present himself as Joe Everyman, it seems an elementary mistake he could have avoided.
The others were about how you would expect. Dion was earnest, but difficult to fathom. He tried his best but when he got excited his english deteriorated quickly. Layton was strong in some ways, in command of his platform and his critique of Harper. On the other hand, he still has this thing about him. The only way I can describe it is by quoting the Simpsons. He "reeks of effort". He distances himself from the viewers by looking like he is trying too hard. It is hard to describe, but it is offputting. Maybe it's just me. I doubt he hurt himself with last night's performance.
Duceppe looked kind of bored last night. I continue to agree with most everything he says. If he could just get past that whole separatist thing, he would make a fine leader of the NDP.
May was great. She didn't take any guff from Harper. However, there were times (especially when she went off on the Green Shift) that she sounded like an ancillary Liberal leader. Ironically, her performance may cost the Liberals some seats, something she has said she would feel badly about. I think her worst fears are going to come true.
Overall, I think it was a good discussion. I wouldn't call it a debate. Harper didn't alienate his base, so he will still have around 33 to 36 percent of the vote. The rest of the parties will divide up the rest, probably more evenly than in previous elections. The magic of the FPTP system is about to be on display for everyone to see.
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