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January 9, 2006
The Leaders Debate, And Yell, And Scream ...

While I'm traveling in DC, I presupposed that I would not necessarily get a chance to follow the flow of Canadian politics during my absence from home. Fortunately and by chance, the hotel offers C-SPAN2 and I happened to catch the Leaders Debate, about which John from Newsbeat1 reminded me earlier today. I started watching this around a half-hour ago, and it's just now wrapping up with closing comments. The only word I can use to describe what I'm watching is debacle, especially as it relates to Gilles Duceppe and Paul Martin.

The Montreal forum gave all four candidates to show their best side to their fellow Canadians. Instead, Martin and Duceppe acted like neighbors on the verge of a feud, with a glum-faced Duceppe almost spitting in disgust whenever he denounced the actions of the Liberals and Paul Martin, who reacted with hilarious facial expressions right out of bad vaudeville stage acting, hand-wringing, and wildly exaggerated gestures. The Liberal leader bobbed and weaved more than Mike Tyson at any time of his career, and I'm not sure why; did he think that being on television meant he had to constantly be in motion? For a couple of moments, I had to turn down the TV while I spoke on the phone, and the combination of the two party leaders looked like comedy.

That performance automatically made Stephen Harper and Jack Layton look good. However, Layton had put himself in an untenable position by taking a deal with the same Liberals that he accused of checkbook politics, where the NDP got an amendment on more spending for their priorities in exchange for not supporting a no-confidence motion in May that kept the Liberals in power. That made it easy to laugh at the uptight and somewhat prissy NDP leader when he accused the Tories of being in bed with the Liberals by trying to outbid them for voters. Jack Layton managed to sell out Canada in May to make kingmakers out of the NDP. S

The only one who did well, mostly, was Harper. He stayed above the fray as much as possible, and remanied above the bickering of the others. I think it turned out to be a overall win for the much-maligned CPC leaders.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 9, 2006 8:41 PM

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» The Wind in the North from Stromata Blog
My pessimism about the January 23rd election in Canada is on record, and I’m not yet ready to recede from it. Nonetheless, the polls look promising: Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have a double digit lead and are hovering around the 40 [Read More]

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