"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

random impressions of a debate

I missed the first half hour of the debate. Watched the last hour and a half, although I'll admit I was texting Spike for the last half hour or so, and may not have been entirely listening.

So here are my random impressions. I'm sure you'll attribute bias, but you might be wrong in what my bias is. And before you opine that I'm voting based on silly impressions, keep in mind ... I've read (skimmed) all their platforms.  So yes ... I wanted to see how they looked in a televised debate.  Thus my impressions in that regard.

Layton - I had forgotten, and quickly remembered, how well he comes off in a debate. Combines passion with eloquence, shoots all sides down with aplomb, and speaks confidently right to Canadians.  Even when I disagree with him ... I grudgingly admire some of his ideals.  I think he's a hard worker, and a really good NDP leader.

Ignatieff - Gotta tell ya - he sounded whiny to me. I didn't like him. My impression was that he was all attack (which is to be expected, of course) and no "here's what the Liberals would do". I wanted to slap him a little, tell him to quit his bellyachin' and offer a solid solution or two of his own. I wanted to tell him to talk to the camera, talk to me, don't just natter at Harper. I wanted to agree or disagree with one of his ideas, but I didn't really hear any. That surprised me.  I kind of expected him to own this debate, given yesterday's leaked-draft-document media frenzy. I expected I would be more impressed with him when I heard him unedited in a debate.  I was not.

Harper - he surprised me too.  I see other comments saying he's mechanical and scripted and creepy.  For me ... well he seemed calm and unruffled and clear.  Even when I disagreed with him (and I did, at times), I thought he held his own pretty well.  It's always hardest on the one currently in power - everyone's attacking.  I remember thinking the same thing when it was Paul Martin getting hammered by everyone.  It's a tough spot.  By the way, is it just me, or did Harper get new glasses?  And don't you really want to know if his hair is just one solid entity?

Duceppe - I remember liking him in the last debate.  Less so this time.  Just didn't grab my attention in the same way, although my eyebrows went up when he asserted repeatedly that "multiculturalism doesn't fit for Quebec".  Okely dokely then. Good to know. He seemed genuinely angry at Harper a few times, and I was OK with that. Genuine anger - fine. Nattery whining - bleah. I giggled at one point when he kept saying, "bill 101 bill 101 bill 101 bill 101 bill 101". I don't know what Bill 101 is. Probably don't care. But if you say it enough times, it starts to sound funny.

Oh, and by the way, I can't be certain, but I think - I THINK - they all claimed immigrant status in one way or another.

You know ... I wish Elizabeth May had been able to be there. Even if I don't agree with all her party's ideals, I remember her kicking some serious butt last time. Ah well - no seats, no speaks. I can live with that.

Did you watch the debate or am I the only nerd?


Anonymous said...

Yep, watched the last hour-&-a-quarter. Hate it when someone in the same room rants at the TV...and it turns out to be me.

My rants were mostly at Iggy and Doocet, if/when I understood the boy. Like you, I kept waiting for Iggy to say something of substance - when he did say a smidge, he worried me. And a 70% absence record?!?!?!?

Jack's a pretty good speaker, but of course there's not the same heat under his seat as the others. Tho't he was pretty magnanimous about bringing the world to Canada (which I can be pretty 'pro' about) while conveniently ignoring all the thorny related issues.

Harper? Yep. Serious fixatif on the hair, tho it does look like it could be that way naturally. Tho't he did a good job overall. Really liked how he consistently talked to the camera/me - it was a good tactic. Also tho't he managed to come across as calm/mature, reflecting Iggy as looking miffed/juvenile.

So sure, my bias is showing.

Sadly tho', I'm still feeling like I'm trying to choose 'the least of the evils'...really grieves me.


chRistine said...

It's always interesting to see other people's reactions to the same thing you watched:

Layton - passionate, interesting, well-spoken and presented himself as a viable option. he doesn't sound "fringe".

Duceppe - wonderful presentation in his second language, although his penis-tie completely distracted me. I loved his one-liners and carefree "who cares, these are the english debates!" attitude

Iggy - confident, passionate about immigration, and clear messaging on education, crime and multiculturism (which are things I am interested in).

Harper - i found him "patiently condescending", refusing to answer questions, with a vague whiff of lying. of course, being in bev oda's riding, i wanted ANSWERS to the lack of integrity his party has shown.

do i know who i am voting for? not really.. i need to process what i heard tonight..

vjc said...

Nope, didn't watch. Probably because I'm on a political sabbatical. Three more years before I have to care enough to comment. But am enjoying the summaries, Patti, so keep them up. Then maybe I can sound like a concerned world citizen at the next mother's meeting.

Patti said...

Christine - you know, as I was scribbling thoughts during the debate, I did actually write down that Harper might be coming off as condescending to those who disagreed with him. You're right.... I could imagine that reaction. Duceppe's tie?? Missed it. hahahaha

Ken said...

Watched most of it. To declare bias up-front, I've voted PC/Conservation for 40-odd years now, though much of the time as a 'least bad' choice (sigh, Why can't everyone see it my way ;-) ).

I enjoyed listening to Doucet and Layton, but could never vote for their policies.

I was expecting more than I got from Ignatieff. I hate the CPC attack ads, so don't think I had much of a preconceived idea going in. But I expected better debating skills from a Harvard prof. I perceived him as still practicing the 'political attack' act, rather than presenting positive ideas to me.

Harper seemed calm in contrast. I still wanted and didn't get answers to many of what I believe are wrongs (firing nuclear safety chief, lying re census, lying re ex-cabinet minister he fired, coverup re Kairos defunding (though no one has a right to public funding), and too many etc.). His 'bickering' comments prove contempt of parliament much more than the vote did.

But the policies (lower taxes, no gov't child care, better military funding)are on balance better, despite such mistakes as 'tough on crime'.

D_Morrison said...

Debates, attack adds, all of it is useless.

Majority of Canadians vote a) because I've always voted _____ b) because my Dad and his dad voted for _____ or c) because or some random factoid that has little to do with political agenda's or policy.

Canadians are so ill informed of the partys policy's and standpoints its sad. But I am enjoying your summary, its refreshing to see someone who seems to know at least enough to make an educated decision :) if more canadians were like you Patti :D

Patti said...

D_Morrison - well of COURSE the world would be a better place if everyone was like me! ;-D

Ken - (that's UNCLE Ken to me) - thanks for the comments - well said.

I find myself in recent years really considering the differences in what I think the government's job is, and what I think my job is. I haven't permanently landed anywhere ... I vote differently in different elections ... but I guess I tend to lean towards national budgeting somewhat like the Conservatives, and individual living somewhat like the NDPs.

I HAVE shifted in regards to childcare, which is funny, since I don't have kids.

And I get really frustrated with the lying and coverups in any party. Part of my problem is, I discovered I'm still carrying some Liberal rage from the last Chretien years.


(ducking to avoid whatever bullets will now be aimed my way!)