OK. Before I write about my impressions of last night's Globe debate.
I feel I need to make some things clear, in the interests of full disclosure.
I've never been very good at numbers, and I'm not much interested in economics. I took a lot of classes at university but I slept through most of them.
And when my rich uncle tried to lecture me recently in some fancy Bay Street restaurant, about the importance of balancing MY budget and investing wisely, I started nodding off until my head almost hit the table.
Also having injured my knee in a bike accident, I was forced to watch the debate lying on the couch with my foot pointing at the ceiling, which was almost as painful as the show itself.
And when it was over I had a splitting headache.
So I hope you'll forgive me if I give myself a break, and convey some of my impressions with a little help from Buzzfeed.
(1) This is how I felt when I tuned it at eight pm sharply, having gone to extraordinary lengths not to miss a MINUTE.
Only to discover a group of poohbahs from the Globe and Mail blabbing on at length about what they thought the leaders should say...
(2) This was my general impression of the debate, and the part that gave me a headache...
Not just because of all those numbers and all that shouting...We summarized the #GlobeDebate in 4 gifs. It was mostly two guys talking over each other. http://t.co/ha9LYtuBzt pic.twitter.com/Plc6uc9Bx0— BuzzFeed Canada (@BuzzFeedCanada) September 18, 2015
But also because there can hardly be anything more depressing than seeing Stephen Harper attack Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau, and have both of them answer him by attacking each other.
And I just knew that some in the MSM would use that to declare Harper the winner. As Jeffrey Simpson does here.
Mr. Harper, who was badgered by the two opposition leaders, more than held his own. When he was not being interrupted by Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Trudeau, he spoke with precision. His critics, of course, will never accept that positive verdict, but they would never credit him for anything.
A more objective reckoning would say that, as the target throughout the evening, the Prime Minister looked, well, prime ministerial, and explained yet again his view that low taxes and no deficit is the best formula for future growth.
But while Simpson may be right, television is perception. And as we know Stephen Harper does want to portray himself as the steady hand on the wheel.
What Simpson fails to point out is that throughout the debate Harper tried to cloud and distort the issues...
When he wasn't lying like a thief, or a Con artist.
And even though the hopeless moderator David Walmsley did allow him to get away with it, and to a large degree so did Mulcair and Trudeau because they were too busy fighting themselves.
That should count and it's definitely NOT prime ministerial.
And what on earth was this weirdness?
Maybe Stephen Harper meant to say "Old Sock Canadians". #GlobeDebate @EdtheSock #OldStockCanadians pic.twitter.com/eoNmgoRCbA— The Perfidious PM (@perfidiousPM) September 18, 2015
Does Harper really need to send a dog whistle message to his bigot base at EVERY opportunity?
Oh boy, one only wishes Elizabeth May had been invited to join the debate, instead of dominating it on Twitter.
Because she might have helped set the record straight.
But then in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter, because Harper's record speaks for itself. He is not the steady hand on the wheel...
He is the bony hand on the rusty circle of doom whose oily policies have led us to the verge of disaster. His budget surplus is a shell game, for which he should be arrested for fraud. And his economic record couldn't be worse.
Far from unleashing a business-led boom, Harper has in fact presided over the weakest economic era in Canada’s postwar history. For example, from 2006 through 2014 (not even counting the current downturn), Canada experienced the slowest average economic growth since the Great Depression (measured by the expansion of GDP after inflation and population growth).
Across other indicators, too (including job-creation, productivity, personal incomes, business investment, household debt, and inequality), the Harper government ranked last or second-last among all postwar governments. Its overall ranking was the worst of any prime minister since 1946.
He is indeed no Great Economist Leader...
But since according to this new Nanos poll, his phoney credentials are what is keeping him in the game, and holding back the wave of change.
The sooner we demolish them, the more easily we will defeat him.
You know, I don't think yesterday's debate will move many votes one way or the other. I'm not sure enough Canadians watched it to make a difference.
But the important thing is that Stephen Harper didn't win, despite all the chances we gave him. And that both Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau were still standing when it was over.
But we really can't waste another opportunity. We need to hammer the Cons better than we did last night.
We still have the time, it shouldn't be that hard.
But I'll never stop thinking how much easier that would be if we were united...
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