125

Harper challenges Ignatieff to debate

‘Any time, any place’: Ignatieff


 

Stephen Harper opened the door on Wednesday to a televised one-on-one debate with Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. In response to question about Green party leader Elizabeth May’s exclusion from the leaders’ debates, Harper said the Conservatives were open to several possible scenarios, including “a debate between Mr. Ignatieff and myself, since, after all, the real choice in this election is a choice between a Conservative government or an Ignatieff-led government that all of these other parties will support.” Ignatieff welcomed the idea. “Any time, any place,” he responded. “Mr. Harper has proposed a debate between the two of us, I am there. I am available.” Harper nevertheless noted the final decision on the format of any televised leaders’ debate rests with broadcast consortium responsible for airing it.

Montreal Gazette


 
Filed under:

Harper challenges Ignatieff to debate

  1. Looks like Harper is already trying to back down from this one, just tweeted this to @M_Ignatieff "curiously, my team proposed 1:1 to TV consortium today; however, your team did not speak up." What utter crap. I don't see how he avoid having a debate with Ignatieff now without looking incredibly foolish.

  2. Looks like Harper is already trying to back down from this one, just tweeted this to @M_Ignatieff "curiously, my team proposed 1:1 to TV consortium today; however, your team did not speak up." What utter crap. I don't see how he avoid having a debate with Ignatieff now without looking incredibly foolish.

    • are you kidding looks like Iggy's team went GULP ! oh nooooo! our man just blew it big time :) .. this is what happens when Iggy goes off script

      • I think Harper will wash the floor with him, although Ignatieff is no fool.I just dont think he knows enough about how this country had been running,I guess thats a backhanded compliment for iggy

        • Have you seen Iggy off script? This is a man who has made his living on thinking deeply about issues and then putting them out to the world. He will not be lightweight in a debate but if the CPC underestimates him, that only works in the LPC favor, as WK would say.

          • have you ever read one of his books? – I tried … zzzzzzzzzzz

          • I have a feeling harp's book on hockey would be more up your alley. You don't even have to be literate to read an imaginary book.

          • I have,I wasn't terribly impressed, perhaps you impress more easily.Lecture lecture lecture, and when he tried to be funny, he wasn't

    • No Iggy is the chicken here.

  3. are you kidding looks like Iggy's team went GULP ! oh nooooo! our man just blew it big time :) .. this is what happens when Iggy goes off script

  4. I wonder how many people are actually going to believe that. I'm guessing not many beyond the borders of Harperland.

  5. I wonder how many people are actually going to believe that. I'm guessing not many beyond the borders of Harperland.

  6. Is it wrong to prefer to see a bare knuckle boxing match?

  7. Is it wrong to prefer to see a bare knuckle boxing match?

    • Ignatieff would probably have the reach advantage, but Harper is pretty shifty.

      If all the leaders took part, I think Layton would win. Crazy beats tough nearly every time.

      • Layton is off his game.I heard him speak, he sound weak, due to poor health.But his one liners are boring

        • What do one liners have to do with a bare knuckle boxing match?

          • For the pre-match weigh-in banter, of course.

          • Ah yes. Thank you.

  8. I think Harper will wash the floor with him, although Ignatieff is no fool.I just dont think he knows enough about how this country had been running,I guess thats a backhanded compliment for iggy

  9. Harper said the Conservatives were open to several possible scenarios, including “a debate between Mr. Ignatieff and myself, since, after all, the real choice in this election is a choice between a Conservative government or an Ignatieff-led government that all of these other parties will support.”

    What no c.o.a.l.i.t.i.o.n.!! Realized you were firing blank ammo did you Mr H? At least a little anyhoo!

  10. Harper said the Conservatives were open to several possible scenarios, including “a debate between Mr. Ignatieff and myself, since, after all, the real choice in this election is a choice between a Conservative government or an Ignatieff-led government that all of these other parties will support.”

    What no c.o.a.l.i.t.i.o.n.!! Realized you were firing blank ammo did you Mr H? At least a little anyhoo!

    • No it's co-opposition now.

  11. Have you seen Iggy off script? This is a man who has made his living on thinking deeply about issues and then putting them out to the world. He will not be lightweight in a debate but if the CPC underestimates him, that only works in the LPC favor, as WK would say.

  12. OH! I see.. so he wasn't proposing a one on one debate in addition to the regular debates, but rather instead of.

    Suddenly the reasoning behind his initial proposal is much more clear.

  13. OH! I see.. so he wasn't proposing a one on one debate in addition to the regular debates, but rather instead of.

    Suddenly the reasoning behind his initial proposal is much more clear.

    • That's a sly observation on your part. Wonder if it's true?

  14. There should be a two-hour, sitting down conversation, moderated by Rex Murphy.

    talking about Canada, issues, ideas, values, etc. Taking questions from the national audience.

  15. There should be a two-hour, sitting down conversation, moderated by Rex Murphy.

    talking about Canada, issues, ideas, values, etc. Taking questions from the national audience.

    • I agree. But the people answering those questions just shouldn't be politicians if we want a real genuine discussion that isn't dominated by one-line zingers.

      • I disagree. The politicians should talk to other politicians on video screens from different parts of Canada standing in front of their constituents in a series of one-line zingers. All parties should bring in more attractive female candidates. Drake can moderate.

    • or Steve Paikin

      • Awesome moderator.

      • I would hugely prefer Paiken over Murhpy. Murphy, bless him, is still a tad too self-important. The ever-laid back Paiken is the very model of a modern major-moderator. Punning aside, I'm serious.

        • It's amazing that public television seems to produce the best moderators. The Americans always use PBS talent for their debates as well.

    • Given the state of our politicos.. Jerry Springer would probably be more appropriate.

      • It hasn't gotten that bad……yet.

  16. Ignatieff would probably have the reach advantage, but Harper is pretty shifty.

    If all the leaders took part, I think Layton would win. Crazy beats tough nearly every time.

  17. I agree. But the people answering those questions just shouldn't be politicians if we want a real genuine discussion that isn't dominated by one-line zingers.

  18. or Steve Paikin

  19. Given the state of our politicos.. Jerry Springer would probably be more appropriate.

  20. I think it was john g who said earlier that he felt SH had more to lose from a one on one debate than he stood to gain.
    I was thinking that Stephen Harper must have a slam dunk quote he's ready to pounce with- something he can trot out and slam his opponent with ala Mulroney /Turner "you had an option."
    This is probably the toughest battle Mr Harper has been in, simply because he is now the one having to defend his record. I'm sure the allure of a big "game changer" is tempting to a man looking at his last shot at a majority.

  21. I think it was john g who said earlier that he felt SH had more to lose from a one on one debate than he stood to gain.
    I was thinking that Stephen Harper must have a slam dunk quote he's ready to pounce with- something he can trot out and slam his opponent with ala Mulroney /Turner "you had an option."
    This is probably the toughest battle Mr Harper has been in, simply because he is now the one having to defend his record. I'm sure the allure of a big "game changer" is tempting to a man looking at his last shot at a majority.

    • Its where he does his very best work, I would pay to see this!

      • too bad it wasn't in governing….and then we wouldn't be in this situation

  22. have you ever read one of his books? – I tried … zzzzzzzzzzz

  23. I have,I wasn't terribly impressed, perhaps you impress more easily.Lecture lecture lecture, and when he tried to be funny, he wasn't

  24. That isnt hand picked by the CBC!

  25. That isnt hand picked by the CBC!

  26. Its where he does his very best work, I would pay to see this!

  27. Layton is off his game.I heard him speak, he sound weak, due to poor health.But his one liners are boring

  28. They should have a dance off instead. Stevie would pop and lock all over Ignatieff's Ivy League behind

  29. They should have a dance off instead. Stevie would pop and lock all over Ignatieff's Ivy League behind

    • Hmmm, chubby robot dancing vs gangly robot dancing. Which would be more endearing? Hard to say…

  30. Harper knows how to debate?

    http://betshort.com

    I like it, if he wins the debate, he will be Canada's next PM.

    If he loses, he can get a job at McDonalds -He might even become an assistant-manager in 2 or 3 years.

  31. Harper knows how to debate?

    http://betshort.com

    I like it, if he wins the debate, he will be Canada's next PM.

    If he loses, he can get a job at McDonalds -He might even become an assistant-manager in 2 or 3 years.

    • I read that letter twice and still don't really know what Mr. Livingstone is asking for.

      Here's a tip: if you're sending a letter to MP's, don't make half of it an irrelevant quote, even from someone as intelligent as Spinoza, and make sure that the 'ask' is crystal clear. You're dealing with 22-year-old MP's staff; they don't have the first idea who Spinoza is and they're not good with nuance.

      As an aside, what in the world does that have to do with the MISH debate?

  32. Awesome moderator.

  33. I have a feeling harp's book on hockey would be more up your alley. You don't even have to be literate to read an imaginary book.

  34. And remember, please, no fisticuffs.

  35. And remember, please, no fisticuffs.

    • For what it's worth, due to his "not here for you" long time experience in places other than Canada, I'd give that to Iggy. He may be a professor, but he's seen more in the world and maybe learned a few tips…

  36. I would hugely prefer Paiken over Murhpy. Murphy, bless him, is still a tad too self-important. The ever-laid back Paiken is the very model of a modern major-moderator. Punning aside, I'm serious.

  37. Hmmm, chubby robot dancing vs gangly robot dancing. Which would be more endearing? Hard to say…

  38. For what it's worth, due to his "not here for you" long time experience in places other than Canada, I'd give that to Iggy. He may be a professor, but he's seen more in the world and maybe learned a few tips…

  39. Bring it. The Liberals should make hay out of this if Harper backs down and won't debate Iggy one-to-one. It's a win-win for the Libs. If Harp backs down, he looks chicken. If he does do a 1-1 only debate, it means he's acknowledged Iggy is the only worthy opponent.

  40. Bring it. The Liberals should make hay out of this if Harper backs down and won't debate Iggy one-to-one. It's a win-win for the Libs. If Harp backs down, he looks chicken. If he does do a 1-1 only debate, it means he's acknowledged Iggy is the only worthy opponent.

    • Yup. Heard the analogy on TV. Equivalent to challenging someone to a fight in a bar saying "Let me at him" before realizing that no one is holding him back.

  41. Maybe someone from the Star, CBC or Globe and Mail can moderate:

    "First question for both, you have two minutes: Explain in your own words why Harper is evil."

  42. Maybe someone from the Star, CBC or Globe and Mail can moderate:

    "First question for both, you have two minutes: Explain in your own words why Harper is evil."

    • "Let me be perfectly clear…," etc.

    • Steve Pakin at TVO is about the best.

    • "Explain in your own words why Harper is evil"

      I'm guessing some sort of childhood trauma.

  43. What do one liners have to do with a bare knuckle boxing match?

  44. It's amazing that public television seems to produce the best moderators. The Americans always use PBS talent for their debates as well.

  45. "Let me be perfectly clear…," etc.

  46. I read that letter twice and still don't really know what Mr. Livingstone is asking for.

    Here's a tip: if you're sending a letter to MP's, don't make half of it an irrelevant quote, even from someone as intelligent as Spinoza, and make sure that the 'ask' is crystal clear. You're dealing with 22-year-old MP's staff; they don't have the first idea who Spinoza is and they're not good with nuance.

    As an aside, what in the world does that have to do with the MISH debate?

  47. I disagree. The politicians should talk to other politicians on video screens from different parts of Canada standing in front of their constituents in a series of one-line zingers. All parties should bring in more attractive female candidates. Drake can moderate.

  48. Thim has (I think) nailed it above.

    If the only debate is one on one, bold faced lies work… he says, he says…. Harper hasn't left the country, Ignatieff knows how to skate, call it a draw

    In the multiparty debate, all of a sudden Jack and that Bloc guy start taking about coalitions with Stephen… things get messy.

  49. Thim has (I think) nailed it above.

    If the only debate is one on one, bold faced lies work… he says, he says…. Harper hasn't left the country, Ignatieff knows how to skate, call it a draw

    In the multiparty debate, all of a sudden Jack and that Bloc guy start taking about coalitions with Stephen… things get messy.

    • IImportant point for the libs to remember and not get sucked in. One on one and a multi player debate or stick to the original format. But don't you think one on one is a big risk for Harper[ Iggy too…but he has nothing to lose] Or is he so confident and so far ahead he can afford the risk of opening the door for Ignatieff?

  50. Steve Pakin at TVO is about the best.

  51. For the pre-match weigh-in banter, of course.

  52. Ah yes. Thank you.

  53. Ignatieff taught at Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. He is a very smart, intelligent, erudite, polished and eloquent speaker, besides being a master rhetorician. He would literally drown Harper in an improvised one-on-one debate and leave him in the dust, guaranteed.

  54. Ignatieff taught at Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. He is a very smart, intelligent, erudite, polished and eloquent speaker, besides being a master rhetorician. He would literally drown Harper in an improvised one-on-one debate and leave him in the dust, guaranteed.

    • He can also communicate extremely well in layman's terms, meaning he can easily get his point across the whole spectrum of the electorate.

      • I doubt it. I'm not knocking Ignatieff. In a straight up academic debate he would likely win quite handily. But this is politics. It's about looking for advantage over your opponent – Harper's proved he's good at that [ witness QP]
        Where Ignatieff might get him is if he can push Harper into an area he's not comfortable with or has not prepared properly for. Harper is not a good improvisor. Get him off message, he's vulnerable for sure. But don't forget the other guy get's to ask questions too.

  55. He can also communicate extremely well in layman's terms, meaning he can easily get his point across the whole spectrum of the electorate.

  56. No Iggy is the chicken here.

  57. The latest Canadian Press/Harris Decima measure of voting intention reveals:

    According to Chairman Allan Gregg: "For two weeks in a row, we have seen the Conservatives hold a double-digit lead over the Liberals. While two weeks does not a trend make, these are the best results the governing Party have garnered since the fall of 2009 and definitely represent a solid start for the Conservative election campaign. In fact, when you look further into the data, two major shifts seem to be taking place — the Conservative voter base seems to have been galvanized by the Budget and the election call; and the NDP appear to be making real in-roads among traditional female, Liberal voters. Add to this a fairly steep decline in Liberal fortunes in Quebec over the last month and it suggests that Mr. Ignatieff and his team have a fairly deep hole to dig their way out of over the next 5 weeks."

    * Nationally, in the last two weeks, the Conservative lead is 12 points. The Conservatives stand at 37%, to 25% for the Liberals, 18% for the NDP, 10% for the BQ, and 8% for the Greens. Over the latest week, the Conservative lead is 14 points. These results, compiled March 24-27, see the Conservatives with 38% support, the Liberals with 24%, the NDP 19%, the BQ 10% and the Greens 7%.
    * In Quebec, the BQ remain well in front, while the Conservatives have moved ahead of the Liberals. Over the last two weeks, the BQ stands at 40%, to 21% for the Conservatives, 16% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP, and 7% for the Greens. Over the latest week, the BQ holds 41% support, to 22% for the Conservatives, 14% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP and 6% for the Greens.
    * The Conservatives hold an 8 point lead in Ontario over the last two weeks. Here, they stand at 41%, to 33% for the Liberals, 16% for the NDP and 8% for the Greens. In the latest week, the Conservatives hold 38% support, to 32% for the Liberals, 20% for the NDP and 8% for the Greens.
    * The Conservatives have pulled ahead in BC. Over the last two weeks, the Conservatives are at 35%, to 29% for the NDP, 20% for the Liberals, and 14% for the Greens.
    * The Conservatives remain the dominant party on the Prairies. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they stand at 52%, to 21% for the Liberals, 21% for the NDP and 4% for the Greens. In Alberta, they stand at 58%, to 21% for the Liberals, 13% for the NDP, and 5% for the Greens.

  58. Some Blanks, look at this just posted on Harris Decima

    The latest Canadian Press/Harris Decima measure of voting intention reveals:

    According to Chairman Allan Gregg: "For two weeks in a row, we have seen the Conservatives hold a double-digit lead over the Liberals. While two weeks does not a trend make, these are the best results the governing Party have garnered since the fall of 2009 and definitely represent a solid start for the Conservative election campaign. In fact, when you look further into the data, two major shifts seem to be taking place — the Conservative voter base seems to have been galvanized by the Budget and the election call; and the NDP appear to be making real in-roads among traditional female, Liberal voters. Add to this a fairly steep decline in Liberal fortunes in Quebec over the last month and it suggests that Mr. Ignatieff and his team have a fairly deep hole to dig their way out of over the next 5 weeks."

    * Nationally, in the last two weeks, the Conservative lead is 12 points. The Conservatives stand at 37%, to 25% for the Liberals, 18% for the NDP, 10% for the BQ, and 8% for the Greens. Over the latest week, the Conservative lead is 14 points. These results, compiled March 24-27, see the Conservatives with 38% support, the Liberals with 24%, the NDP 19%, the BQ 10% and the Greens 7%.
    * In Quebec, the BQ remain well in front, while the Conservatives have moved ahead of the Liberals. Over the last two weeks, the BQ stands at 40%, to 21% for the Conservatives, 16% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP, and 7% for the Greens. Over the latest week, the BQ holds 41% support, to 22% for the Conservatives, 14% for the Liberals, 14% for the NDP and 6% for the Greens.
    * The Conservatives hold an 8 point lead in Ontario over the last two weeks. Here, they stand at 41%, to 33% for the Liberals, 16% for the NDP and 8% for the Greens. In the latest week, the Conservatives hold 38% support, to 32% for the Liberals, 20% for the NDP and 8% for the Greens.
    * The Conservatives have pulled ahead in BC. Over the last two weeks, the Conservatives are at 35%, to 29% for the NDP, 20% for the Liberals, and 14% for the Greens.
    * The Conservatives remain the dominant party on the Prairies. In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they stand at 52%, to 21% for the Liberals, 21% for the NDP and 4% for the Greens. In Alberta, they stand at 58%, to 21% for the Liberals, 13% for the NDP, and 5% for the Greens.

  59. Third time in one thread? SPAM!

  60. "Explain in your own words why Harper is evil"

    I'm guessing some sort of childhood trauma.

  61. Isn't this headline distorting what happened. I believe Mr. Ignatieff first brought up the subject of a debating Mr. Harper face to face.

  62. Isn't this headline distorting what happened. I believe Mr. Ignatieff first brought up the subject of a debating Mr. Harper face to face.

    • I think you're right there.

      • Which makes Harper's impossible pre conditions all the more laughable… He steals the idea of a man-to-man debate (ala the John Howard speech) then proceeds to make like Toller Cranston in skating away from it.
        Me thinks I hear many hearts breaking in CONtown…

  63. That's a sly observation on your part. Wonder if it's true?

  64. C'mon macleans warn the spammers off at least.

  65. C'mon macleans warn the spammers off at least.

  66. IImportant point for the libs to remember and not get sucked in. One on one and a multi player debate or stick to the original format. But don't you think one on one is a big risk for Harper[ Iggy too…but he has nothing to lose] Or is he so confident and so far ahead he can afford the risk of opening the door for Ignatieff?

  67. I doubt it. I'm not knocking Ignatieff. In a straight up academic debate he would likely win quite handily. But this is politics. It's about looking for advantage over your opponent – Harper's proved he's good at that [ witness QP]
    Where Ignatieff might get him is if he can push Harper into an area he's not comfortable with or has not prepared properly for. Harper is not a good improvisor. Get him off message, he's vulnerable for sure. But don't forget the other guy get's to ask questions too.

  68. I think you're right there.

  69. Harper without a script or advance questions would be in the same league as Bush. Iggy at least can think for himself and would promise to be a very interesting debate with dramatic results. Perhaps a replay of Mulroney's defeat of Turner with that one historic question. Hope Harper does not chicken out. I bet he will chicken out . What I am waiting for are the lame excuses he will dream up. He is good at that.

  70. Harper without a script or advance questions would be in the same league as Bush. Iggy at least can think for himself and would promise to be a very interesting debate with dramatic results. Perhaps a replay of Mulroney's defeat of Turner with that one historic question. Hope Harper does not chicken out. I bet he will chicken out . What I am waiting for are the lame excuses he will dream up. He is good at that.

  71. It hasn't gotten that bad……yet.

  72. too bad it wasn't in governing….and then we wouldn't be in this situation

  73. and just a little desperate….no?

  74. and just a little desperate….no?

  75. Harper is nothing more than an academic turned politician himself – only difference is, Harper isn't Ivy League, and rather than have a collection of written books (like Ignatieff), Harper has been writing a book (for 15 years now) about Hockey (a game he could never play because of asthma). I guess it's like they say. Those who can do. Those who can't, well, they go on to run the new Alliance, I mean Conservative Party.

  76. Harper is nothing more than an academic turned politician himself – only difference is, Harper isn't Ivy League, and rather than have a collection of written books (like Ignatieff), Harper has been writing a book (for 15 years now) about Hockey (a game he could never play because of asthma). I guess it's like they say. Those who can do. Those who can't, well, they go on to run the new Alliance, I mean Conservative Party.

    • I've never understood why the right target Ignatieff for his "academic" life. Most of the Tory front bench are nothing more than policy wonks who have either had publicly funded jobs since leaving college or have received welfare by serving on think tanks or acting as another politician's understrapper.
      The biggest bunch of self serving elitists "sucking at the public tit" out there are folk like Baird, Harper et al.

    • Suggesting that Harper is an academic is ironic considering his clear and unequivocal anti intellectual stance. He is more in the league of Sarah Palin.

  77. Which makes Harper's impossible pre conditions all the more laughable… He steals the idea of a man-to-man debate (ala the John Howard speech) then proceeds to make like Toller Cranston in skating away from it.
    Me thinks I hear many hearts breaking in CONtown…

  78. No it's co-opposition now.

  79. I've never understood why the right target Ignatieff for his "academic" life. Most of the Tory front bench are nothing more than policy wonks who have either had publicly funded jobs since leaving college or have received welfare by serving on think tanks or acting as another politician's understrapper.
    The biggest bunch of self serving elitists "sucking at the public tit" out there are folk like Baird, Harper et al.

  80. Suggesting that Harper is an academic is ironic considering his clear and unequivocal anti intellectual stance. He is more in the league of Sarah Palin.

  81. Harper's challenge didn't come out like he intended. His intent was to score political points by debating "The leader of the coalition"

    If Ignatieff accepts which Harper didn't expect, then Ignatieff also accepts the mantle of the coaltion. Only Ignatieff accepted as leader of the Liberal party, leaving out the other opposition parties.
    It was a bad move by Harper.

    Now you know why he screens his questions and limits press access. He needs to control the message. He was unprepared for this one.

  82. Harper's challenge didn't come out like he intended. His intent was to score political points by debating "The leader of the coalition"

    If Ignatieff accepts which Harper didn't expect, then Ignatieff also accepts the mantle of the coaltion. Only Ignatieff accepted as leader of the Liberal party, leaving out the other opposition parties.
    It was a bad move by Harper.

    Now you know why he screens his questions and limits press access. He needs to control the message. He was unprepared for this one.

  83. Yup. Heard the analogy on TV. Equivalent to challenging someone to a fight in a bar saying "Let me at him" before realizing that no one is holding him back.

Sign in to comment.