The French debate: Franco-blogger reaction roundup


Here’s a look at the reaction of bloggers who blog in French. I’m not familiar with any of these folks, and I make no claim that this represents any kind of scientific measurement of opinion. With that caveat, here’s what they’re saying on the netwebs:

  • Blogueur Dan gives it to Stéphan Bureau — an obvious joke, and one I’m glad I managed to resist. Beyond that, Dan, who blogs from Alberta, liked Harper and really didn’t like Dion. “I would have thought M. Layton would be the Bubble Head of the gang, but M. Dion is even more. So much so that at one point, he was making me seasick. He’s seriously pitiful. I know the guy’s defending his party, but he’s so boring and he was really stressed out. M. Harper was the best prepared and the calmest of all the leaders.”

  • Joanie Dion, apparently no relation, is surprised to give the top score to Stéphane Dion. She found Harper “rather stiff with his ironic smile glued to his face for the whole debate. On the other hand, he controls his moods impressively against multiple attacks from the other parties. As bizarre as it might seem (I’m even surprising mysel), I give the point to Stéphane Dion. Why? Because he answered more directly to the questions of citizens and he targeted the audience by looking at the camera. Duceppe also did good work but we didn’t learn much about his future projects in the House.”
  • Laurent Duperval’s public-speaking blog offers a nuanced, mixed review (Jack Layton was having the most fun, from where Laurent was sitting). Reluctantly, he offers a bottom line: Harper defended his territory and the others couldn’t make gains.
  • Plume Basson wasn’t impressed by Harper but had no real favourite among the others.
  • Sly gives them number scores, with his favourite, Duceppe, followed closely by Dion. Sly really wasn’t impressed with Elizabeth May.
  • Patrick Lagacé, La Presse’s widely-read blogger, gives out numbers too: Duceppe, followed by Dion and Harper tied.

Bit of a toss-up, all told.


The French debate: Franco-blogger reaction roundup

  1. I think Dion’s success in these debates will ultimately lie in how successful he presented himself as *the* federalist option to the separatist Duceppe to the Quebecois, which is really the only battle that matters.

    What struck me was Dion’s point that he and Duceppe are both “Quebec nationalists” and seek what is good for Quebec, but only differ in their approach (within Canada or alone).

    How that plays in Quebec during the next few days should prove to be interesting, I think.


  2. Chantal Hébert gives letter grades: B+ for Harper and Dion, B- for Duceppe, C+ for Layton and a C- for May. The winners for her: the round-table format, and … Stéphan Bureau.

  3. It was a great pleasure to see Stéphan Bureau running a public-affairs show again, but I thought he tried a little too hard to Bring it Down To The Human Level (“are you worried about your RRSPs?”). Paikin doesn’t go in for that sort of thing as much; tomorrow should be a little drier but could be more informative as a result.

  4. Why does M. Bureau get to omit the -e from the end of his first name? I can’t agree he won until that is cleared up.

  5. Chantel just will never let it go, will she? The few people who thought Harper won (even tied) tonight are typically so deep into the koolaid that they pee sugar. For Chantel, it’s an overarching despisal of Dion. Did his father flunk her?

  6. Agreed Dan. The only person to have performed slightly better than Dion was Duceppe.

    You have to understand, though, when one spends the better part of their columns criticizing Dion as being a weakling, a Not-a-Leader, a cowardly loser and whatever else, admitting that he fared better than chess-master-genius-strategist Harper is a tough one.

  7. Listening to the translators was difficult at times as there were some curious whoopsies on numbers and such.

    Overall, I thought Dion did just fine but I have to agree that he does the “bobble-head” thing far too much and it’s distracting. But what’s with the 5-point plan? That’s just weird to pop up with that right now.

    May was lame. I still don’t know any of her policies on the economy except that she’d raise the GST.

    Harper did okay as the punching bag of the evening and he challenged Duceppe well on the crime issue. He looked weakest on the environmental file.

    Layton acquitted himself very well and spoke with conviction – IMO, he has stayed on message better than the rest this election.

    Since I’m a Calgarian, I spent a few moments yelling at the TV whenever Duception started railing against Alberta and Saskatchewan. I wonder if he realizes how many billions in royalties hit the federal treasury just so his MPs can walk into the political sunset in style?

  8. I think Dion did fine as well, much better than expected, though he came across to me as a little bit timid. I doubt he’ll repeat his success in English but I think he may have made a positive difference for himself in Quebec.

    I’m genuinely surprised at the poor reaction to Harper. I thought he did OK as well; his goal was to not hurt himself and I’m very surprised given his reasonably safe performance that he seems to have failed in that one.

    May got over the very low bar of justifying her presence at the table but did no better than that.

    Layton & Duceppe were as usual.

  9. Duception. I haven’t heard that one before. I like it.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think the federal government gets resource revenues. Resources belong to the provinces. Still with you on the anti-anti-western sentiment, though.

  10. john g: May got over the very low bar of justifying her presence at the table but did no better than that.

    I doubt anyone expected any more than that from the French debate. Her proficiency in the language just isn’t strong enough for anything other than a few potshots.

    It will be the English debate that will be make-or-break for her. Especially given the party’s chance of winning any seats is confined to regions outside of Quebec.

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