Wellllll last night was the English Leadership Debate (don't they look so happy together?) leading up to the May election that we didn't want but Ignatieff and his Coalition have forced us in to.
I hope no one actually believed anything that was said last night (or at any of their gatherings, really) in terms of the promises made. The debate is just a big show, the purpose of which, is to allow the public to see our potential leaders at their best or worst.
According to public opinion, Stephen Harper won the debate, hands down. (Speaking of hands, I amused myself by defining each of them by their hand gestures.) However, Layton did a pretty good job of holding his own and re-enforcing his place as That Guy who will always keep poking at you to make sure you are doing the right thing for the little guys. I like having him there to keep the PM in line (even enforcing his points with hip social media references!). I do believe he actually does care about the little people. Meanwhile, Ignatieff was just as scripted as ever and just seems concerned with wresting power from the Conservatives and putting himself on the throne. Ignatieff is looking out for number one. And, of course, Gilles Duceppe is all about "The provinces and Quebec."
Everyone knew the others were going to attack Harper at every possible chance in regard to trust and spending issues. And then, prior to the debate, information on G8 fake lake spending from the Auditor General's report was magically leaked, adding fuel to their fire. Frankly, whoever leaks important government documents, especially when it's information that oh so conveniently works in favour of the opposition, should be held in contempt of Parliament and, perhaps, shot.
Not that I condone silly spending, but I can't help but recall that (A) the Liberals were voted out a while back because of spending that created a nice big deficit, and (B) despite spending concerns, the Tories still were able to take Canada through a global economic crisis and we survived far better than much of the rest of the world.
Now the trust issues and secretiveness that Layton and Ignatieff are complaining about? Yes, I can agree with that, to an extent, but, if what they did is so evil and contemptuous, why hasn't Harper actually been impeached or some such? And while I appreciate the parliamentary concept of having the opposition present to keep the leader in line, sometimes, I wish leaders would just be allowed to do what we voted them in to do: lead - without having to pander to the opposition who often seems to want to disgree out of spite. We're not America! (Although, Ignatieff
is was, when it was convenient).
We didn't watch much of the debate. We tried, we really tried, but repeatedly switched to Castle, (which I am now convinced my husband watches because of the father/daughter parenting situations. He's taking notes.) Prior to the debate, political analyst commentary said that the important thing was to get off that "golden comment" that will be repeated in sound bites etc. We were fortunate enough to catch Jack Layton counter Ignatieff's regular attacks on Harper's lack of democracy by pointing out Ignatieff's poor attendance record.
"You know, most Canadians, if they don't show up for work, they don't get a promotion," Layton said. "You missed 70% of the votes."
Ignatieff certainly couldn't counter that and to me, that says A LOT about the man and his commitment to me and my fellow Canadians.