25 September 2007

Debate quickies

There'll be plenty of Monday morning quarterbacking, but here are some quick comments and links on the provincial party leaders' debate.

1. The CBC and Canadian Press headlines aren't doing the Tory campaign any favours. CBC has Tory leader Danny Williams pleading with voters to trust him. CP has Williams on the defensive over spending scandal. Both stories don't quite match the headlines, though.

2. If you missed the live version, you can catch the tape at cbc.ca/nl.


3. Bizarre moment of the night: Danny's false accusation aimed at Simon Lono, in the midst of a free-for-all with Gerry Reid. One thing thing to make a false statement. Another thing to take a swipe at the guy who isn't in the room to defend himself. Lono's obviously gotten up the Premier's nose. Giving Lono this kind of attention won't make him go away; in fact, among Lono's potential supporters, the Prem just boosted his street cred.

4. Best opening statement: Danny Williams. All values and on his key themes. from a guy who delivers a speech like he is being tortured, this one shone.

5. Are you now or have you ever... Lorraine Michael fell into Danny Williams' lawyer trap just like she was in discovery or being cross-examined. She scored a big point when she repeatedly picked at Danny over the House management when he was Leader Op.

6. Quote of the Night: "We want to grow the young people of our province." That is pretty much what we do with young people. Grow them. On a go forward basis.

7. Damn you, I.P Freely. The debate bingo card was only for one leader and the most common phrases were missing. If "go forward basis' and "quite frankly" were on my bingo card, I'd have hit the jackpot by 15 minutes in.

8. Torture: Danny Williams and Gerry Reid pounding away and talking over each other.

9. Earning votes: Politicians should earn them. Ask Chief Justice Green. One media commentator suggested this reference by Danny Williams might be a clue that the Tory vote is softening in some areas. Could be. but then again, the comment just fits with Danny Williams' tendency to complain about the poor quality of his opposition. Simple solution: tell Bob Ridgley to withdraw. instant improvement in the opposition (tongue planted firmly in cheek, for all those with no sense of humour)