25 September 2008

The candidate podcast - St. John's South-Mount Pearl

CBC Radio's Morning Show entertained listeners this Thursday morning with four of the candidates in the federal riding of St. John's South Mount Pearl.

Missing was Newfoundland and Labrador First candidate Greg Byrne who is living in British Columbia these days.

You can find the two-parter audio files  here and here for the Q and A or go to cbc.ca/nl, click on "Programs" and then "St. John's Morning Show."

No point in spoiling the fun, but there are a couple of bits that stood out.

For starters, it was pretty obvious Siobhan Coady is perceived as the front runner, given that Conservative Merv Wiseman and self-described aging granola Ryan Cleary  - running for the party he called "losers" on several occasions as a columnist - spent a good chunk of time attacking her and the party she's running for. 

Coady helped them immensely by spending too much time focusing on the attacks on the Green Shift and giving rehearsed talking point responses instead of substantive answers.

On top of that, Coady and Cleary seemed to be working hard to pull the Provincial Conservative vote. 

At one point, Coady worked Loyola Hearn's campaign slogan into her responses, talking about how the fictitious "we" need to "Stand up for Newfoundland and Labrador."  Put that together with her pledge on the Hibernia shares and the Lower Churchill (apparently the biggie items of concern to voters in the riding) and the raft of Provincial Conservatives (former Hearn supporters) knocking doors for her and you pretty much have ABC in a Box.

For his part Cleary repeated "Danny" and "Danny Williams" so often and pledged his unwavering support for "Danny" that listeners likely expected him to claim he was strong, proud and determined to stand behind...well...you know..."Danny".

Of course, it's not like Cleary didn't write the odd column about Danny Williams in the Independent that seemed like the mash notes of a teenager whose heart has been broken by an unrequited love. 

Or calling into question the need for rule of law because his hero was ticked off at some mean old judgy wudgy.

Yes, Cleary is running for the New Democrats, although he's been known to take another political bus.

Merv Wiseman kept up his end of the discussion.  With all the Danny-lovin' in the room he must have been confused at some points, what with his own pledge of support for Danny hisself only a few months ago when Merv sought the Provincial Conservative nomination in Baie Verte Springdale.

Check out the pictures on the Morning Show website and you'll see Green candidate Ted Warren wearing his trademark leather jacket and shades.  Over the air, Warren held up his portion of the chat but the pictures make it look like he was trying to hide his identity.

Oh well, the seat is Coady's to lose and the CBC program was entertaining if nothing else.

Thursday after next, there's a chance for some serious blood on the walls when CBC brings together the crowd from St. John's East.  Expect Craig Westcott to take some pokes at perceived front-runner Jack Harris during that one.

Next week, the candidates from Avalon will have a go at each other.