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Scoring tonight’s leaders’ debate, play by play


 

As always, the big thing to watch for in tonight’s leaders’ debate is a “knockout punch.” This is, of course, when one leader delivers a line so devastating that his rival can’t possibly recover. The key thing to remember is that this never occurs. Thus, the debate-watcher will also want to keep an eye peeled for these other possibilities:

1. Natural hat trick. This occurs when one leader scores on three successive points without the others getting a word in edgewise.  Paul Martin claimed to have accomplished this after the 2004 English-language debate, but the feat is disputed as nobody was listening closely or can bear to review the video.

2. Hitting for the cycle. In no particular order, a leader makes a decent point on social policy, a quite interesting one on the economy,  panders way out to the far corner of sentimental patriotism, and connects with an entirely unfair but entertaining blow against his main rival’s character.

3. Scoring a century. An astonishing 100 or more points made in a single debate. Few have even attempted it in the modern era, although during the 1968 debate, Créditiste leader Réal Caouette, apparently taking the cricket analogy literally, began running frantically back and forth between the podiums of Robert Stanfield and Pierre Trudeau, until Tommy Douglas realized what was happening and ran him out.

4. Bowling a 7-10 split. Let’s say you’re Harper and you’ve used most of your speaking time insinuating Ignatieff is a foreigner, but Layton and Duceppe are just standing there. You’ve got to quickly slip “out-of-control socialist spending” into your next line and then somehow spin way over to “separatist” without throwing your back out. Easier to do in two-toned shoes.

5. Chip and lie. Seeing that your opponent has protected himself against your attempt to control the House by putting up one or two solid policy positions, the trick is to, with a single rhetorical throw, knock one of those “guard” policies out of play and then lie. As with curling, lies can be multiple.


 

Scoring tonight’s leaders’ debate, play by play

  1. Oh this looks like fun!

    Would a Hail Mary be saying you are going to divest the Federal government of the Not-wisthstanding clause?

  2. Oh this looks like fun!

    Would a Hail Mary be saying you are going to divest the Federal government of the Not-wisthstanding clause?

  3. I'm going to be looking for the equivalent of an own-goal, coughing up the puck on your own blueline, hanging a curveball right over the plate in the batter's wheelhouse, or throwing an interception on your own 15-yard line. I know those are what the debate participants are thinking (and worrying) about, I'm sure…

  4. I'm going to be looking for the equivalent of an own-goal, coughing up the puck on your own blueline, hanging a curveball right over the plate in the batter's wheelhouse, or throwing an interception on your own 15-yard line. I know those are what the debate participants are thinking (and worrying) about, I'm sure…

  5. Funny stuff!

    But surely, "You had an option, Sir." counts as a knockout.

    If I could toss in one from the world of auto racing:

    Drafting. Following another leader's forceful critique by making essentially the same point, but trying to nose ahead with added hyperbole. "While I agree the PM has been reckless, I'd have to say he's been both reckless *and* irresponsible…"

  6. Funny stuff!

    But surely, "You had an option, Sir." counts as a knockout.

    If I could toss in one from the world of auto racing:

    Drafting. Following another leader's forceful critique by making essentially the same point, but trying to nose ahead with added hyperbole. "While I agree the PM has been reckless, I'd have to say he's been both reckless *and* irresponsible…"

    • As the networks have been replaying the "You had an option, Sir" it has struck me that the host, one David Johnston – now our esteemed GG, should have cut Mulroney off.

      There was a clear signal at the 3 minute mark of this video that it was time for the next question. If Mr. Johnston had moved things along or if Peter Truman had jumped in with his question the famous "knock-out blow" would not have happened and we would have been left with a fairly even exchange about patronage. Either we should let the politicians run free during the debate (which I am fine with) or the rules have to be strictly adhered to.
      http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/prime_ministers/c

    • Turner delivered an equally impressive knockout for years later with his attack on free trade. Didn't win him the election but it saved the Liberals from their first ever 3rd place finish.

  7. I just want to drink a shot every time I hear Harper say "Strong", Ignatieff say "Contempt" and Duceppe say "Quebeckers and Canadians". It's doable if you go to the bathroom every time Layton says "better".

  8. I just want to drink a shot every time I hear Harper say "Strong", Ignatieff say "Contempt" and Duceppe say "Quebeckers and Canadians". It's doable if you go to the bathroom every time Layton says "better".

    • If your aim is to get drunk, I'd suggest a shot for every utterance of "coalition". But you'd better swing by the liquor store and stock up in advance…

      • Shots AND pot, so I can p*ss myself laughing.

  9. If your aim is to get drunk, I'd suggest a shot for every utterance of "coalition". But you'd better swing by the liquor store and stock up in advance…

  10. As the networks have been replaying the "You had an option, Sir" it has struck me that the host, one David Johnston – now our esteemed GG, should have cut Mulroney off.

    There was a clear signal at the 3 minute mark of this video that it was time for the next question. If Mr. Johnston had moved things along or if Peter Truman had jumped in with his question the famous "knock-out blow" would not have happened and we would have been left with a fairly even exchange about patronage. Either we should let the politicians run free during the debate (which I am fine with) or the rules have to be strictly adhered to.
    http://archives.cbc.ca/politics/prime_ministers/c

  11. Shots AND pot, so I can p*ss myself laughing.

  12. A 5-10 split only goes from middle to right. You're thinking of a 7-10 split. #YesIAmABowlingNerd

  13. A 5-10 split only goes from middle to right. You're thinking of a 7-10 split. #YesIAmABowlingNerd

    • As with the cricket guy below, I thank you, and have absorbed your expertise into the post.

  14. Now that "fundamental" has been retired, extra points for extreme use of "let me be very clear".

  15. Now that "fundamental" has been retired, extra points for extreme use of "let me be very clear".

    • Okay, I only have seven bottles of beer. So,
      "let me be very clear" — by anyone?

      • Only the most common opening phrase in very limited answers to very limited
        questions .. and usually an indication that clarity is not really a priority.
        Sleemans Honey Brown or Propeller Bitter, I hope.

  16. If lying gets you points, Harper will win in a blowout

  17. If lying gets you points, Harper will win in a blowout

  18. Okay, I only have seven bottles of beer. So,
    "let me be very clear" — by anyone?

  19. "… Créditiste leader Réal Caouette, apparently taking the cricket analogy literally, began running frantically back and forth between the podiums of Robert Stanfield and Pierre Trudeau, until Tommy Douglas realized what was happening and touched him out."

    Er ahem…you don't touch someone out in cricket JG….you run them out. :)

  20. "… Créditiste leader Réal Caouette, apparently taking the cricket analogy literally, began running frantically back and forth between the podiums of Robert Stanfield and Pierre Trudeau, until Tommy Douglas realized what was happening and touched him out."

    Er ahem…you don't touch someone out in cricket JG….you run them out. :)

    • Jolly good. Will tend to that. Would Tommy have known.

      • :) No idea. But i wouldn't be a bit surprised, he was a very smart man . I'm just amazed Real knew anyhting about cricket.

  21. Jolly good. Will tend to that. Would Tommy have known.

  22. As with the cricket guy below, I thank you, and have absorbed your expertise into the post.

  23. Iggy is winning this — COMFORTABLY.

  24. Iggy is winning this — COMFORTABLY.

  25. Turner delivered an equally impressive knockout for years later with his attack on free trade. Didn't win him the election but it saved the Liberals from their first ever 3rd place finish.

  26. Only the most common opening phrase in very limited answers to very limited
    questions .. and usually an indication that clarity is not really a priority.
    Sleemans Honey Brown or Propeller Bitter, I hope.

  27. :) No idea. But i wouldn't be a bit surprised, he was a very smart man . I'm just amazed Real knew anyhting about cricket.

  28. Nice one JG. Happily Tommy didn't have to ajudicate an LBW…they can be tricky.
    I'm curious to know what Trudeau thought of the antics…1968 was a little too far back for me.

  29. Nice one JG. Happily Tommy didn't have to ajudicate an LBW…they can be tricky.
    I'm curious to know what Trudeau thought of the antics…1968 was a little too far back for me.

  30. Geddes' gunning for Feschuck's gig?

    very well done!

  31. Geddes' gunning for Feschuck's gig?

    very well done!

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