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TO the Polls: 3rd Week in Review

A week by week election crib-note

Week three saw two major innovations in the campaign - the first two (incredibly dull) Leadership Debates, and the commencement of notable personal attacks. Beyond those events however, not much went on - the only real policy plank of any note was Harper's organized sports credit, and the blunder of the week went to a United Statesian.

In all of my time watching political debates, never have I seen one so dull as the two last Thursday and Friday. The format allowed the leaders to have pre-packaged statements, and it showed. Without needing to worry about being challenged on any of their words by their opponents, the leaders had carte blanche to be as weaselly as they desired - an option they took advantage of. Most notably, not a single one of them gave a straight answer when asked what they would do if Quebec declared her independence in violation of the Clarity Act. Keeping this format for the next two debates is not an option at all.

Once again, the Tories took the week in terms of policy - and again to absolutely no effect in the polls. The plan to offer tax rebates for youths engaging in organised sports has good intentions; it is lacking much though. In a country as tired and obese as Canada, a programme to get people active should not be limited just to those too young to drive: all Canadians could benefit from participating in sport, and this should be similarly encouraged.

The blunder (or success, depending on his secret intentions) of the week clearly goes to Mr David Wilkins. If we assume that Mr Bush Jr is not happy with the current gov't, then having is ambassador start a slagging match with Martin is about the dumbest thing possible - surely he would have known that having a PM engage in verbal fisticuffs with an unpopular US administration is only going to increase the PM's popularity. Of course, if instead Bush Jr has a reason for wanting Martin to win a second term...

Nearly half-way through - are the polls ever going to move?


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