Okay, I'll admit it - I didn't watch the leadership debates this time around. I tried, I really did; it's just very hard to get the CBC while sitting on a beach in Cuba.
That's okay though, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and my magic crystal ball (which admittedly is neither magic, crystal, nor spherical), so I think I can still manage a pretty good run-down.
In the lead-up to the debates, Toronto-based Jim Harris of the Green Party was once again excluded. The media conglomerate that controls the debates justified its decision by saying that Harris doesn't have a chance to become PM, ignoring that neither does Jack Layton nor Gilles Duceppe. They further argued that Canadians didn't know much about Harris, but forgot that a televised debate is a great way for them to learn.
At the debates themselves, scripted answers once again ruled the day. Without much opportunity to challenge each other, the Leaders felt they could get away with plenty of non-statements and contradictory claims. Despite half of the leaders having ties to Toronto (Layton who lives here, and Harper who was born here), Hogtown was mentioned only in reference to a question about gun violence - and wasn't spoken of by any of the leaders; they prefering to use general terms like 'cities' and 'communities'. Quebec, on the other hand, was the focus of about half the debate directly, and more tangentally with unity discussion.
After the debate, all of the parties claimed to have clearly won (including the Greens, who claimed a 'moral victory') and insisted that while Canadians really tuned into them, they were able to see through all the double-talk of their opponents. The media struggled to find fireworks in the debate, but for the most part found it all tied up. Everybody vowed to keep the rest of the election clean, while slandering their opponents in the same breath - it should be interesting to see how long that keeps up for.
And that was the debate folks; or maybe it wasn't. Just a guess.
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