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French Debate
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I saw about half-an-hour of the french candidates' debate tonight. My impressions?

Harper's french is functional, but he's really not happy speaking it. His diction and body language were so stilted that it's evident that if the Conservatives get votes in Québec, it will be despite their leader. Frankly, the two-headed beast that is the Conservative Party of Canada will likely be voted into whatever seats they get because of their old-Conservative fiscal policies, and despite their old-Reform social policies.

As the incumbent, Martin took a lot of fire for a lot of specific things. Duceppe skewered him with financial numbers, either too high or two low depending on context, at every opportunity. Still, he kept to his position and slugged it out. The debate that went between any of Harper, Duceppe, and Martin sounded like a bunch of right-wing bankers arguing about the difference a cent makes in one direction or the other.

Layton was the only one speaking a different language than the bankers. Following the NDP platform, he repeatedly pointed out their view that the other guys' promised tax cuts and promised spending increases were impossible to follow through on at the same time. He brought up a related point, too, that all this focus on fiscal matters accounted environmental issues for naught, that no other party's policies addressed long-term development issues and rather focused on short-term tax breaks almost exclusively. An interesting point was his assertion that, among the NDP's promised spending increases would be research and funding to get alternative-fuel and hybrid cars on the roads as soon as possible. I did note, however, that he never mentioned tax cuts; I'm pretty sure the NDP implicitly acknowledges that they can't fulfill their platform while cutting taxes.

Duceppe was mostly an aggressor in the debate, trying to pull Martin's government down a notch and occasionally pointing up Harper's lack of answers that matter to Québecois. I also can't vote for his party, anyway, so I didn't pay as much attention to his positive message as I did to his challenges to the other three's messages.

The Green's didn't get a spot in the debate this year, and raised holy heck about it. However, if the vote goes as much their way as the polls predict (which isn't all that much, actually), they'll get official-party status for the next election.

I'm definitely voting left for social policy reasons, but I'm torn between the Greens and the NDP. On the one hand, the Green candidate in my riding of Vancouver East actually stands a chance of getting the seat, and getting another left official party on the national stage can only improve the political conversation. (Of interesting personal note is that a friend of a friend is her election agent. darthmaus, you need to ask Sam what he's been up to!) On the other hand, I rather like Layton and much of their platform, and I want to have some voice in a Parliament that is likely to be very right-heavy.

Given that neither party will likely form a minority government, let alone anything greater, does it matter which left serves as my voice in Parliament, though?

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Yeah, I knew that re Sam, actually -- he called me to sign her nomination papers, but unfortunately I didn't get the message until it was too late. It would have been an honour to sign my Green candidate's papers.

I'll be listening to the English language debate tomorrow night; I know you'll be busy with that essay, but there is probably some way I can record it for you if you like, sweet thing.

If you could, that'd be great. If it's VHS we can make a date of watching it. ;)

I could follow most of the french all right, but I didn't get to see as much of it as I'd have liked, and I'm curious how different it will be, particularly in regards to Harper.

VHS? Oh, right, the TV. You can, like, watch shows on it and stuff.

Just tried to get any kind of TV reception at all and failed miserably -- so I'll be recording it off CBC Radio.

Foiled by technology!

Grrrr! I might not even be able to record that! I have great reception off my clock radio in the bedroom, but shatty reception on my stereo... which of course is the one with the tape recorder...

Re: Foiled by technology!

Damn! We might be able to find it online someplace, I guess, but it's much less interesting to try curling up in front of a computer monitor than in front of the TV.

Maybe we can find someone, maybe via vanpoly_social, who has taped it? We could eventually watch it, that way, and find something else to do with a Wednesday night. :)

Re: Foiled by technology!

I got most of it on audio tape, if you're interested (was working on a certain embroidery project while listening :)

Didn't get to see their handwaving gestures and red faces, but it was still entertaining ;-)

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