Greg Fingas updates his rankings.
Mulcair still ranks well ahead of the pack, and indeed is largely rising above the most contentious exchanges as the candidates below jockey for position. But his new “strong, structured opposition” catchphrase rather cries out for explanation – and I wouldn’t be surprised if plenty of NDP members have serious concerns about the prospect of top-down organization and message control if that’s what he has in mind.
Progressive Proselytizing awards the win to Brian Topp.
I believe that Brian Topp won this debate. I don’t say that lightly; in every other debate thus far I have ranked him several people down from the top. However, for the first time he came off a genuinely relaxed, jovial, and personal. He won most if not all of the minor exchanges with other candidates during Question & Answer period. He provided detailed policies, optimism for himself and the NDP, appropriate criticism of Harper and the other candidates without the pettiness we have seen before, and generally came off looking more like a Prime Minister than I have ever seen from him.