Macleans.ca liveblog - Canadian Leadership Debate - Day 2 - Macleans.ca

Macleans.ca liveblog – Canadian Leadership Debate – Day 2

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  • 2:59 PM Macleans.ca – Canada’s top political team on the web will be here at 9 PM tonight to provide analysis of tonight’s leadership debate as it happens. Check back often.
  • 8:22 PM Paul Wells – I’ll just note that our liveblog from last night was the ninth Top Post on WordPress — AHEAD of Jack Cafferty and The Page, and nipping at the heels of 2dopeboyz!
  • 8:22 PM Paul Wells – botd.wordpress.com
  • 8:59 PM Aaron Wherry – Greetings from the National Arts Centre. There’s a big poster on the side of the building announcing that Tony Bennett will be here Saturday night for the annual NAC gala.
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  • 9:00 PM Aaron Wherry – And we’re off. And the guys in the press room just turned off the sound.
  • 9:00 PM Martin Patriquin – Harper saying his version of McCain’s ‘the fundamentals of the economy are strong’ on a day when the TSX loses 800 points is not such a hot idea. Discuss.
  • 9:00 PM Kady O’Malley – And hello from the Public Policy Forum debate watching gala, where I am liveblogging amid a throng of bright young political junkies, from a table with its very own bowl of chips and salsa. And a beer.
  • 9:01 PM Aaron Wherry – And we’re back.
  • 9:01 PM Kady O’Malley – Hi, NAC peeps! There’s food here. You?
  • 9:02 PM Kady O’Malley – No sea urchin pendant? Bah. She’s gone Ottawa.
  • 9:02 PM Martin Patriquin – Blue’s nice, I guess.
  • 9:03 PM Kady O’Malley – Elizabeth May has just turned into a generic economist pundit. That was unexpected.
  • 9:04 PM Aaron Wherry – A columnist who shall remain nameless finds Stephane Dion’s English hilarious.
  • 9:04 PM Kady O’Malley – Wait, weren’t they going to mix up the seating plan?
  • 9:04 PM Aaron Wherry – They did.
  • 9:05 PM Kady O’Malley – Somehow, I feel as though I’ve heard those talking points before
  • 9:05 PM Aaron Wherry – So Stephen Harper doesn’t agree with Stephane Dion. I’m shocked.
  • 9:05 PM John Geddes – Harper talks to Dion, Layton talks to the camera.
  • 9:05 PM Martin Patriquin – Harper’s economic platform: Attack the egghead across the table.
  • 9:05 PM Paul Wells – When Paikin called on “Jack Layton,” I thought he was calling on “Czech Lady.” My debate is far more fun than the one you guys are listening to.
  • 9:05 PM Andrew Coyne – May: save the economy by blocking investment, and depressing purchasing power. Greeeattt..
  • 9:05 PM Chris Selley – Layton is talking to ME, not the Camera. And I also heard Czech Lady.
  • 9:05 PM Kady O’Malley – The *real* economy
  • 9:06 PM Andrew Coyne – Ooof: Harper on the attack off the top. “Stephane, you panicked.”
  • 9:06 PM Paul Wells – That can’t be right, because the one who sounds like a Czech lady is Duceppe.
  • 9:06 PM Kady O’Malley – Layton cares about your personal economy.
  • 9:06 PM Kady O’Malley – The invisible hand likes oil companies?
  • 9:06 PM Paul Wells – Duceppe made his first reference to the rich oil companies. Amazing that it took six minutes.
  • 9:07 PM Martin Patriquin – @Paul: Drink!
  • 9:07 PM Chris Selley – Nothing to do with nothing to do with doing nothing. Nothing!
  • 9:07 PM Kady O’Malley – Wasn’t Harper beside May yesterday? Or did I hallucinate that?
  • 9:07 PM John Geddes – You have an option, sir.
  • 9:08 PM Kady O’Malley – I’d just like to note that Andrew Potter is sitting behind me, dropping bons mots and quips like snowflakes. Or nacho crumbs.
  • 9:08 PM John Geddes – The Wall Street crisis is not a government balance sheet issue.
  • 9:08 PM Aaron Wherry – Elizabeth May is reminding Stephen Harper why he didn’t want her their in the first place.
  • 9:08 PM Andrew Coyne – May; Where’s your platform! Exactly…
  • 9:08 PM Kady O’Malley – Harper has that smile again.
  • 9:08 PM Paul Wells – Harper is actually correct: in a lot of big ways, Canada’s fiscal management has been very different from the US’ in the last several years. I remember Jean Chrétien made precisely that point in a speech in Chicago, and our colleague Christie Blatchford tore a strip off him for being rude to the Yankees.
  • 9:09 PM Aaron Wherry – Harper’s sitting up straighter. That’s leadership.
  • 9:09 PM Kady O’Malley – Crowd loved that: “You don’t care, or you’re incompetent.”
  • 9:09 PM Andrew Coyne – Layton: Either you don’t care or you’re incompetent… So I guess we’re no longer eschewing the personal attacks…
  • 9:10 PM Aaron Wherry – When were we eschewing the personal attacks?
  • 9:10 PM Paul Wells – Well, he DID give the PM a choice, Andrew…
  • 9:10 PM Chris Selley – What, you think think there’s a third option or something?
  • 9:10 PM Kady O’Malley – While we were sleeping.
  • 9:10 PM John Geddes – Layton didn’t like those stories saying Dion was more aggressive yesterday.
  • 9:10 PM Kady O’Malley – So the rich oil companies and the manufacturing sector are at war?
  • 9:10 PM Chris Selley – Jack Layton doesn’t care about families who work for oil companies. There, I said it.
  • 9:10 PM Martin Patriquin – Duceppe talking about Canada as a whole. Delicious.
  • 9:11 PM Kady O’Malley – Well, the working ones. Not the soul-sucking ones.
  • 9:11 PM Andrew Coyne – You’d never know we had unemployment of 6.1% (30-year low) an employment rate of 63.4% (all-time high), etc.
  • 9:11 PM Paul Wells – On the monitor we’re watching in the English press room, every single one of them is wearing bright makeup like Oompah Loompahs. I greatly fear our friend Paikin is about to turn into a blueberry.
  • 9:12 PM Aaron Wherry – Yes, look at the markets.
  • 9:13 PM Kady O’Malley – Andrew Potter wonders, “What about the farmers?”
  • 9:13 PM Chris Selley – Phew. It’s a good thing Harper didn’t say people aren’t worried about their jobs and houses, I’d say. Wait, what’s Elizabeth May on about…?
  • 9:13 PM Kady O’Malley – I keep mistaking the red Maple Leaf for a Red Cross.
  • 9:13 PM Chris Selley – Or did I just miss it?
  • 9:14 PM Martin Patriquin – Just out of interest, and I’m asking because I don’t know, but do political leaders often push for a lower dollar, as opposed to higher productivity?
  • 9:15 PM Kady O’Malley – Hey, Dion has picked up on the “laissez faire” meme
  • 9:15 PM Chris Selley – So… because Chretien and Martin made our banks stable, we should pretend they aren’t?
  • 9:15 PM Martin Patriquin – You’re right, Stephane. Paul Martin never wanted bank mergers. [end sarcasm]
  • 9:15 PM Andrew Coyne – Harper’s completely right, but politics and journalism are not kind to the “things are on balance okayl” message. He needs a tax-cutting, market-opening message — do-something not do-nothing.
  • 9:15 PM Kady O’Malley – Duceppe gets the green star.
  • 9:15 PM Kady O’Malley – (For bringing up the K word)
  • 9:16 PM John Geddes – This is Harper’s best moment. Specifics.
  • 9:16 PM Andrew Coyne – Laissez-faire, don’t care?!?! They’re spending more than any govenrment in the history of the universe!
  • 9:16 PM Andrew Coyne – Okay, Canada.
  • 9:17 PM Kady O’Malley – My audience is bored. I mean, they’re paying attention in a polite way, but really, they’re waiting for everyone to compliment the person to their right.
  • 9:17 PM Kady O’Malley – Or sneaking over to watch the Palin/Biden debate in the next room.
  • 9:17 PM Chris Selley – From Harper’s 1997 speech that May mentioned: “In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, don’t feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don’t feel bad about it themselves, as long as they’re receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance.”
  • 9:17 PM Aaron Wherry – Did Jack Layton just compliment Elizabeth May? And how is it that Harper is getting hammered by Layton and May on the economy?
  • 9:18 PM John Geddes – Talking about the OECD all the time is “real people in the real economy ?
  • 9:18 PM Andrew Coyne – Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a party to the free-market side of Harper? Somebody to criticize him for spending too much, not too little? Somebody to contradict the NDP/Bloc/Green wackos?
  • 9:18 PM Paul Wells – I went offline for a bit, grrr, but I was trying to make the point Coyne made: Canada’s situation is indeed stronger than in the US, but “It’s not so bad” is a very difficult hill to defend.
  • 9:18 PM Kady O’Malley – May clearly has it in her head to establish herself as more than just a hippie earthmommy type
  • 9:18 PM Martin Patriquin – @ Wherry: He did. Gives you an idea of how he feels about the threat from the Greens.
  • 9:18 PM Kady O’Malley – And has transformed into a Catherine Swiftian type.
  • 9:19 PM John Geddes – Again, Harper is good when he narrows the focus.
  • 9:19 PM Martin Patriquin – Duceppe has been louder than I thought. Not sure why that is.
  • 9:20 PM Kady O’Malley – Andrew Potter asks: Since when are the poor so popular?
  • 9:20 PM Chris Selley – I wonder how much having released a platform–any platform–would have shielded Harper against this do-nothing/no ideas charge.
  • 9:20 PM Chris Selley – Probably not much.
  • 9:20 PM Andrew Coyne – At last! Jack goes after Dion.
  • 9:20 PM John Geddes – Did Layton just go after Dion for “adding a tax”?
  • 9:20 PM Martin Patriquin –
  • 9:21 PM Martin Patriquin – @ Coyne: How about this guy?
  • 9:21 PM Kady O’Malley – The permanent tax on everything.
  • 9:21 PM Kady O’Malley – oooh, Martin just escalated the liveblog arms race.
  • 9:21 PM Chris Selley – Scandinavia reference! Drink!
  • 9:21 PM Aaron Wherry – Dion to Layton: You’re Swedish. (Ouch.)
  • 9:22 PM Paul Wells – I’d suggest that in some ways there is a party to the free-market side of Harper, and it’s led by the geeky prof with the sylin’ new glasses, Andrew.
  • 9:22 PM Andrew Coyne – “Strategic investments in technology..” God forbid the auto companies could invest on their own account.
  • 9:23 PM Kady O’Malley – The first Just The Facts of the evening is out!
  • 9:23 PM Martin Patriquin – Please share.
  • 9:23 PM Kady O’Malley – It politely suggests that the Official Opposition Leader reacquaint himself with the last budget.
  • 9:24 PM Andrew Coyne – “We need to bring the manufacturing sector back.’ Also the horse-and-buggy industry…
  • 9:24 PM Chris Selley – Elizabeth May wants a revitalized pulp and paper industry. That’s interesting. (Looking up Green platform…)
  • 9:24 PM Kady O’Malley – Wait, I just realized that the Liberals were out of the gates first with a series entitled “Harpernomics”
  • 9:24 PM Paul Wells – A note about how Ottawa works: our colleagues next door in the French press room were polled on whether they preferred the live English feed or the French-language simultaneous translation. They overwhelmingly picked the live feed. ‘Cause they’re bilingual, I’m saying.
  • 9:24 PM John Geddes – Not the raw logs. Please, no.
  • 9:25 PM Martin Patriquin – May’s point about family’s and Fort Mac is salient, given the percentage of Newfoundland fathers that live there.
  • 9:25 PM Andrew Coyne – “We shouldn’t be shipping raw logs.” Take that, BC logging industry: what do you know about your business compared to Jack?
  • 9:25 PM John Geddes – Newfoundland miners in Red Lake, Ont.’s gold mines made $200 K last year. You can fly home a few times on that.
  • 9:25 PM Aaron Wherry – In Windsor, this question translates as: Will there still be a town here in five years?
  • 9:26 PM Kady O’Malley – Steve Paikin is being pretty laid back as far as letting them go at it.
  • 9:26 PM John Geddes – Can’t the ribs industry in Windsor pick up the slack?
  • 9:26 PM Paul Wells – Dion: We have the most talentuous people in the world. Surprising that Dion is seeking, or being granted, quite a bit more speaking time tonight than last night. And his English is quite strong.
  • 9:26 PM Martin Patriquin – Harper has accomplished the impossible: he is actually more of a pin cushion than last night. And no language barrier to, uhh, pin it on.
  • 9:26 PM Aaron Wherry – Shout out to the Tunnel Bar-B-Q.
  • 9:27 PM Chris Selley – The TBBQ will be the last business to close, I imagine.
  • 9:27 PM Kady O’Malley – He has that tone. The barely concealed contempt one. It works devastatingly well once every ten times he breaks it out.
  • 9:27 PM Martin Patriquin – @Geddes: True, but that means dad’s gone much of the year. Not so family values if you ask me.
  • 9:27 PM Aaron Wherry – Breaking news from the Globe! Harper to aim debate performance at women!… So ladies, how you like him now?
  • 9:28 PM Kady O’Malley – Ooh! I get to answer that one!
  • 9:28 PM Kady O’Malley – Uh, no comment.
  • 9:28 PM Kady O’Malley – Really, though? This is supposed to appeal to women?
  • 9:28 PM Martin Patriquin – Ducuppe’s stumped pretty huge on his Buy Canada Act on the campaign trail. It’s surreal.
  • 9:29 PM Andrew Coyne – This is what comes of ridding yourself of any ideological basis: when you are attacked, you have no philosophical counter-argument, no grounds for justifying your course.
  • 9:29 PM Aaron Wherry – “The voters who are more in play for us tend to be women .. And we think we have more potential to go there, so we think if you come across as harsh and argumentative, you’re less appealing to them,” a Conservative source said. “You may get more cheers from your respective war rooms but it doesn’t mean you’re doing the right thing for women who are quite turned off by that over partisan approach.”
  • 9:29 PM Chris Selley – Elizabeth May supports theCanadian arms industry.
  • 9:29 PM Kady O’Malley – For *hugging*!
  • 9:29 PM Andrew Coyne – Harper could offer a million counter-arguments to the nonsense these idiots are spouting, but that would require him to step out of his “pragmatic” guise….
  • 9:30 PM Kady O’Malley – I wonder if that Conservative source was a man or a woman.
  • 9:30 PM John Geddes – Harris/Decima said on Sept. 27 the NDP was picking up a lot of urban women. Dion needs them back.
  • 9:30 PM Kady O’Malley – (That’s an entirely relevant question, given the context. I am not a sexist!)
  • 9:31 PM Kady O’Malley – WHEN HAS HE EVER BEEN BETWEEN JOBS?
  • 9:31 PM John Geddes – “I’ve been between jobs.” That’s a mistake.
  • 9:31 PM Kady O’Malley – Between think tank and party leadership?
  • 9:31 PM Aaron Wherry – Oh. Snap.
  • 9:31 PM Martin Patriquin – After Coffee Time, and just before Hooter’s.
  • 9:31 PM Chris Selley – WAY better joke if he was wearing a sweater, Jack.
  • 9:31 PM Paul Wells – Knockout punch!
  • 9:31 PM Paul Wells – I kid.
  • 9:32 PM Andrew Coyne – Good, you had me worried for a second…
  • 9:32 PM John Geddes – I think it was the Royal Bank’s chief economist who said a deficit would be a good option to keep open right now.
  • 9:32 PM Kady O’Malley – I thought that phrase automatically got you kicked out of ScribbleLive
  • 9:33 PM Andrew Coyne – Dion just fibbed. They will raise taxes $40-billion, and only cut them $26-billion.
  • 9:33 PM Martin Patriquin – @Geddes: I’ve heard that before. Why?
  • 9:33 PM Aaron Wherry – The English press room is loving Snarky Jack.
  • 9:33 PM Chris Selley – Manfred von Vulte!
  • 9:33 PM Paul Wells – Stephen Harper between jobs: (a) Tory staffer to Reform strategist; (b) Reform strategist to Reform candidate; (c) Disgruntled MP to think-tank/lobby guy; (d) reverse of (c); and that’s about it so far.
  • 9:33 PM Kady O’Malley – andrew potter here, filling in for kady while she gets a red bull. What’d I miss??
  • 9:34 PM Andrew Coyne – It’s an irrational taboo to say you would never run a deficit, and as irrational taboos go, I favour it: after the first one, the second becomes that much easier, and the third, and the fourth…
  • 9:34 PM Martin Patriquin – Shut it, Selley. He’s my cousin.
  • 9:34 PM Andrew Coyne – At last a question that does not involve massive expansion of the state!
  • 9:34 PM John Geddes – @Patriquin. If I mention Keynes I’m afraid of what Coyne might do…
  • 9:35 PM Paul Wells – over at the buzzz.tv dial groups, there are 455 people online, and they are not fond of one of these leaders.
  • 9:35 PM Andrew Coyne – Harper admits his GHG plan would impose costs!
  • 9:35 PM Aaron Wherry – Coyne, here’s where you plug your magazine story.
  • 9:35 PM Kady O’Malley – hey chinanello, get off your husband’s computer!
  • 9:35 PM Chris Selley – Everyone, shhh. Jack’s talking to me again.
  • 9:35 PM John Geddes – @O’Malley that’s a very inside joke
  • 9:35 PM Andrew Coyne – “Big polluters”. Drink!
  • 9:36 PM Kady O’Malley – kady’s back. Thanks, you’ve been great! -ap
  • 9:36 PM Aaron Wherry – I hope you’re watching from your kitchen table Selley.
  • 9:36 PM Kady O’Malley – Oh, thank goodness. The economy section is over.
  • 9:37 PM Andrew Coyne – Great moment for May.
  • 9:37 PM Kady O’Malley – Andrew Potter points out that they aren’t actually talking about things like the internet. Technology. Dot com 2.0!
  • 9:38 PM Martin Patriquin – May: Yes! This is EXACTLY what needs to be said. It’s not the economy or the environment. It’s both.
  • 9:38 PM Andrew Coyne – Harper’s right on the tax credits — except the Tories have played the same game (of claiming tax credits as tax cuts), so he can’t really drive the point home.
  • 9:38 PM Aaron Wherry – 40 is not twice as big a number as 26. Just saying.
  • 9:39 PM John Geddes – Dion needed this moment.
  • 9:39 PM Kady O’Malley – My room liked that Dion moment. I heard claps.
  • 9:40 PM Paul Wells – I liked the bit where E. May points at Harper with her pinkie finger. “And neither will yours.”
  • 9:41 PM Andrew Coyne – “Not to impose taxes on people, it is to make companies pay.” Stephen Layton.
  • 9:41 PM Kady O’Malley – What is the difference between a tax, and making a company pay money into a fund?
  • 9:41 PM Kady O’Malley – Layton gets the Bush award!
  • 9:41 PM Chris Selley – Duceppe keeps yammering on about this 1.2% drop in emissions even as he plumps for Kyoto. Remind me – what were our actual Kyoto targets? Rather more ambitious, methinks.
  • 9:42 PM Chris Selley – Jack! Jack! Over here!
  • 9:42 PM Andrew Coyne – Harper could OWN this debate. He could be the only candidate defending a free market approach. But because he’s abandoned that, he can only bleat, we agree, but we’d do less than you would.
  • 9:43 PM Martin Patriquin – Having four opponents ganging up on you is better than just one ganging up on you.
  • 9:44 PM Kady O’Malley – There’s one May/Harper camera angle that is particularly unfortunate for the latter.
  • 9:44 PM Aaron Wherry – Is Elizabeth May winning this debate?
  • 9:44 PM Chris Selley – Territoriality means you work together. Thanks for clearing that up, Ms. May.
  • 9:44 PM John Geddes – May is scoring all over the place.
  • 9:45 PM Kady O’Malley – CARBON DIOXIDE IS NOT POLLUTION. HUMANS DON’T EXHALE POLLUTION. -potter
  • 9:45 PM Paul Wells – I’m finding Elizabeth May quite strong, and partly because she’s not proposing much policy, which would lead to her proposing some of the Bad Policies
    I don’t like so much. She’s quite crisply explaining the issues instead.
  • 9:45 PM Aaron Wherry – Duceppe used his water glass as a metaphor for an oil barrel. Then he drank from that glass. Make of this what you will.
  • 9:45 PM Paul Wells – Richard Peregrino!
  • 9:46 PM Kady O’Malley – DAMNIT
  • 9:46 PM Andrew Coyne – Drink!
  • 9:46 PM Kady O’Malley – I nearly called that.
  • 9:46 PM Chris Selley – I reject Potter’s logic. Carbon dioxide can KILL YOU!
  • 9:46 PM John Geddes – Now Harper lowers the temperature.
  • 9:46 PM Martin Patriquin – @Wherry: You ever see ‘Three Kings’?
  • 9:46 PM Paul Wells – Whenever I have an expanding Nahani, my trainer makes me do more cardio.
  • 9:46 PM Kady O’Malley – May is killing this room.
  • 9:46 PM John Geddes – Heath care? That’s not an election issue!
  • 9:47 PM Paul Wells – Where’s your room, Kady?
  • 9:47 PM Aaron Wherry – Ice Cube’s finest performance.
  • 9:47 PM Kady O’Malley – Public Policy Forum
  • 9:47 PM Kady O’Malley – it’s a debate-watching forum
  • 9:47 PM Kady O’Malley – sponsored by the Canadian Association of Brewers
  • 9:47 PM Paul Wells – A rich gala of public policy, one might almost say.
  • 9:47 PM Kady O’Malley – or is it the Canadian Brewers Association? I forget.
  • 9:47 PM Kady O’Malley – it IS.
  • 9:48 PM Kady O’Malley – Potter – who is here in tails – wonders where you are, Wells.
  • 9:48 PM Aaron Wherry – Journalists are now taking pictures of other journalists watching the debate in the press room. One of these picture-taking journalists may or may not be named Paul Wells.
  • 9:48 PM Chris Selley – Aboriginal people! Gilles Duceppe, ladies and gentlemen!
  • 9:49 PM John Geddes – I believe it’s the Brewer’s Association of Canada Liberation Front.
  • 9:49 PM Chris Selley – No! Wait! Keep talking about that!
  • 9:49 PM Chris Selley – Damn.
  • 9:49 PM Paul Wells – English media room. If I’d gotten here in time, I could have gone next door to the French media room, where it’s a bit cozier — and where our colleagues are listening to the live English feed because they didn’t want to suffer through translation.
  • 9:49 PM Kady O’Malley – Is there uproarious laughter?
  • 9:49 PM Paul Wells – What did you want more of, Selley?
  • 9:49 PM Kady O’Malley – And/or chips and salsa?
  • 9:49 PM Paul Wells – Thankfully no.
  • 9:49 PM John Geddes – Why do we need to worry about doctors’ student debts again?
  • 9:50 PM Chris Selley – @Wells: Aboriginal issues. I realize it’s a health question, and not an election issue. But a guy can dream.
  • 9:50 PM Martin Patriquin – Hands up: Who here actually has a family doctor?
  • 9:50 PM Kady O’Malley – i do, actually
  • 9:50 PM John Geddes – I
  • 9:50 PM Chris Selley – Me.
  • 9:50 PM Kady O’Malley – and it wasn’t even that hard to find her. i looked on the ontario society of physicians website.
  • 9:50 PM Aaron Wherry – Me too.
  • 9:51 PM John Geddes – Mine interviewed our family to see if we were suitable.
  • 9:51 PM Chris Selley – Malapropism from Layton! Drink!
  • 9:51 PM Aaron Wherry – And she still accepted you?
  • 9:51 PM Martin Patriquin – Man, you Ontario folk are lucky.
  • 9:51 PM John Geddes – The way Jack’s going at him is incredulous.
  • 9:52 PM Chris Selley – Take it up with Duceppe, Patriquin.
  • 9:52 PM Paul Wells – I believe there’s a rule that only the Conservatives are allowed to raise their opponents’ embarrassing former policies. Layton is completely breaking that rule. Harper ran the NCC? Ancient history.
  • 9:52 PM Kady O’Malley – Layton looks peeved.
  • 9:52 PM Andrew Coyne – Layon used the Shouldice clinic!
  • 9:52 PM Macleans.ca – @Martin, you can edit your posts (as long as it’s your own)
  • 9:52 PM Kady O’Malley – Also, that line is such crap — all federal politicians can, if necessary, make use of the National Defence health care clinics
  • 9:53 PM Andrew Coyne – Paikin! Paikin! Paikin!
  • 9:53 PM Paul Wells – Steve Paikin is channelling Andrew Coyne. Vast media conspiracy, right there.
  • 9:53 PM Kady O’Malley – Which are just as good.
  • 9:53 PM Chris Selley – Prove your commitment to the healthcare system! Cut off your arm!
  • 9:53 PM Martin Patriquin – A guy I knew went to Shouldice and shared a room with a Saudi prince who was paying the full shot.
  • 9:54 PM Kady O’Malley – Elizabeth May will set us straight.
  • 9:55 PM Martin Patriquin – www.shouldice.com

    Looks pretty swank — in that it is’nt mold-infested.

  • 9:55 PM John Geddes – May’s losing me here.
  • 9:55 PM Paul Wells – Oh my. IMF and Nafta are destroying our health system. I’m afraid Ms. May is not to the right of Stephen Harper, Andrew.
  • 9:55 PM Andrew Coyne – Paikin! Paikin! Paikin!
  • 9:56 PM Andrew Coyne – May is an extremist on this issue.
  • 9:56 PM Chris Selley – Paikin!
  • 9:56 PM Andrew Coyne – Paikin! Paikin! Paikin!
  • 9:56 PM John Geddes – This is a distraction. May’s having her own little debate.
  • 9:56 PM Kady O’Malley – When does the bell ring for the next topic?
  • 9:56 PM Kady O’Malley – Hey, who is winning?
  • 9:56 PM Paul Wells – Paikin is far more interventionist, and policy-based, than Stéphan Bureau was last night. I think both of them are huge assets to Canadian journalism, but so far Paikin’s having a better night.
  • 9:56 PM Chris Selley – Anyone want to comment on the constitutional implications of installing Steve Paikin as an unelected speaker of the House of Commons?
  • 9:57 PM Andrew Coyne – “Fiscal imbalacne is not settled.” And the demands ratched up again.
  • 9:57 PM Martin Patriquin – My call: May, Dion second, Layton close third.
  • 9:57 PM John Geddes – Dion’s bringing it back to something that’s actually a live federal policy issue. Whew.
  • 9:58 PM Aaron Wherry – Democracy is winning.
  • 9:58 PM Chris Selley – I wonder if Duceppe quietly fumes and interjects in his sleep.
  • 9:58 PM John Geddes – Once
    again, Harper tries to shift from big issues to small policies.
  • 9:58 PM Paul Wells – I think Harper is showing real agility in defending his side and his tone and manner are not off-putting. With the others quadruple-teaming him, though, defence is the only game he can play. It limits his ability to make yards. But then, he’s about 10 points up on the next guy, so I remain to be persuaded that it makes a huge difference.
  • 9:59 PM Kady O’Malley – Well, he doesn’t have a platform.
  • 9:59 PM Andrew Coyne – Duceppe: I’m a special interest!
  • 9:59 PM Chris Selley – Gosh, I hope this arts segment is as edifying as last night’s.
  • 9:59 PM Kady O’Malley – How are the dial-beings responding?
  • 9:59 PM Aaron Wherry – Duceppe’s father was a comedian?
  • 10:00 PM Kady O’Malley – I actually knew that, yeah.
  • 10:00 PM Kady O’Malley – a famous one, even.
  • 10:00 PM Paul Wells – Comedian=actor. Jean Duceppe.
  • 10:00 PM Andrew Coyne – The fact that an industry has a lot of people in it does not make the case for subsidy.
  • 10:00 PM Andrew Coyne – Nbodoy proposed censoring movies, Elizabeth.
  • 10:00 PM Paul Wells – Kady I’m not gonna say much about the dial group while it’s happening. But I’m keeping an eye on it.
  • 10:00 PM Kady O’Malley – Elizabeth May has downloaded a ninety second answer for every one of the top issues into her memory.
  • 10:00 PM Martin Patriquin – “My father was a well-known ‘comedian’.” His father was a well-known ‘actor.” It’s a weird translation that no French Canadian has ever been able to explain to me.
  • 10:01 PM Andrew Coyne – This is bilge! Art is Good is not an argument for subsidy!
  • 10:01 PM Aaron Wherry – Dion loves the music of Jacques Brel. I don’t know why I find that interesting. But there you go.
  • 10:02 PM Aaron Wherry – The Conservatives have not increased funding to the arts. The Globe checked this. Go look it up.
  • 10:03 PM Kady O’Malley – hey kadys eating pizza so I (potter) am back for a minute.
  • 10:03 PM Andrew Coyne – In other countries, culture is the expression of the nation. Only in Canada do we pretend it’s the other way around.
  • 10:03 PM Chris Selley – The average artist makes $10-12 grand a year? Anyone know where Layton’s getting that?
  • 10:03 PM Kady O’Malley – Question: Where is the subsidy for parents of kids who play first person shooters all day. Seriously. You could charge it to the military training budget.
  • 10:04 PM Andrew Coyne – Paikin? Resolved: Conservatives are Barbarians?
  • 10:05 PM Andrew Coyne – There could be a fascinating philosophical debate here, but only one side has showed up.
  • 10:06 PM Kady O’Malley – @coyne: Some say that about macleans.ca
  • 10:07 PM Chris Selley – Right, Mr. Harper. It’s the responsibility for a government to identify ineffective arts programs… and to issue press release attacking those who availed themselves of them, in some cases unbeknownst to them, on purely ideological grounds.
  • 10:07 PM Martin Patriquin – It’s not that he hates the arts. It’s that he doesn’t particularly care. Wish he would just admit it.
  • 10:07 PM Kady O’Malley – Okay, Potter has been booted from the chair.
  • 10:08 PM Chris Selley – THANK YOU, Ms. May.
  • 10:08 PM Chris Selley – May’s winning.
  • 10:08 PM Aaron Wherry – Dion promises more fun. Just try to vote against that.
  • 10:08 PM Kady O’Malley – I find myself powerless to resist the fun promise.
  • 10:09 PM Chris Selley – “More fun” was a stroke of genius from Dion. Me like.
  • 10:09 PM Paul Wells – I have to say every one of these people around the table is more relaxed, thoughtful and surprising than McCain and Obama allowed themselves to be last week. To say the least, Canadian debates are not always sterling examples of …of…whatever they’re supposed to be, but last night and tonight are going fairly well, methinks.
  • 10:09 PM Andrew Coyne – “There’s no ideological agenda there.” Agreed. But you’re going to get whacked as if there was anyway. So you might as well.
  • 10:10 PM Martin Patriquin – A vote for the Conservatives is a vote against fun. And puppies.
  • 10:10 PM John Geddes – Harper sounds solid on what was a dangerous topic for him.
  • 10:10 PM Kady O’Malley – Well, he feels less uncomfortable than he did in French, I think
  • 10:10 PM Chris Selley – @Coyne: So going after Gwynne Dyer and Avi Lewis was just marketing? Not ideology?
  • 10:10 PM Kady O’Malley – on this issue, that is.
  • 10:10 PM Kady O’Malley – Wait, Stephen Harper wants to give artists’ money to the banks?
  • 10:11 PM Chris Selley – Well, there’s the most specious question of the night.
  • 10:11 PM Kady O’Malley – My room did not think much of that question.
  • 10:11 PM Andrew Coyne – A Conservative plant?
  • 10:11 PM Kady O’Malley – Although we did appreciate the heartfelt “Good evening!”
  • 10:11 PM John Geddes – I think Harper won the arts segment. He sounded reasonable. Can’t imagine many viewers thinking he was an ideological enemy of culture.
  • 10:12 PM Kady O’Malley – Geddes – Too bad it wasn’t in French.
  • 10:12 PM Paul Wells – Google says our questioner has no google-able party allegiance.
  • 10:12 PM Aaron Wherry – Some of Stephen Harper’s best friends are artists!
  • 10:13 PM Martin Patriquin – @Wherry: Yeah, really. I love artists! My wife’s cousin’s one of them!
  • 10:13 PM Chris Selley – @Patriquin: How much money does your wife’s cousin make?
  • 10:14 PM Andrew Coyne – Handguns are banned!
  • 10:14 PM Kady O’Malley – Didn’t we agree to ban them *again* last night, thought?
  • 10:14 PM Martin Patriquin – Handguns have been banned for decades.
  • 10:14 PM Kady O’Malley – We need a booster ban.
  • 10:14 PM Aaron Wherry – I said it last night, but Jack’s exceeding himself tonight. Every single issue of any importance is somehow relatable to his life or the life of someone he knows. Jack is us. We are Jack. Bra. Vo.
  • 10:15 PM Martin Patriquin – @Selley: That’s what Harper said. ‘My wife’s cousin is one of them.’
  • 10:15 PM Chris Selley – At least two and probably all three of the shootings Layton mentioned would have involved smuggled guns.
  • 10:15 PM Chris Selley – @Patriquin: Oh.
  • 10:17 PM Andrew Coyne – Good moment for Harper there – on an issue where I’m to the left of him…
  • 10:17 PM Martin Patriquin – Harper’s ‘soft on crime’ stuff is so b
    loody cynical. Violent crime has been going down for something like 15 years.
  • 10:18 PM John Geddes – Not youth violent crime, though.
  • 10:18 PM Paul Wells – Fun Harper biographical fact: When he ran in Calgary for his return to Parliament in 2002, he skipped all-candidates meetings (where his only half-prominentopponent would have been the New Democrat, because Libs and PC didn’t run against him). I wonder whether, when his eyes glaze over tonight, he’s dreaming of whatever he did back then when he wasn’t at the debates.
  • 10:18 PM Aaron Wherry – Crime has been going down. Violent crime is up. If I’m not mistaken. John?
  • 10:18 PM Chris Selley – The Liberals, for the record, promise to cut 1.8% of governmetn spending through identifying waste. Hopefully none of that will involve anything even REMOTELY positive like literacy or arts. Hopefully it will be programs that, I don’t know, torture babies.
  • 10:19 PM Andrew Coyne – The reason Harper’s good on this section is because he’s actually saying stuff he believes.
  • 10:19 PM Kady O’Malley – Wells – Was that when he was “between jobs”?
  • 10:19 PM Aaron Wherry – Coyne with the most damning statement of the evening.
  • 10:20 PM Chris Selley –
  • 10:20 PM Andrew Coyne – Selley ftw!
  • 10:20 PM Macleans.ca – okay, but isn’t that going downishH?
  • 10:20 PM Martin Patriquin – That line is going southward, yes?
  • 10:20 PM Aaron Wherry – I am mistaken.
  • 10:21 PM Kady O’Malley – down is still down, and not up?
  • 10:21 PM John Geddes – Youth violent crime, up. The most serious assaults, up. Overall crime, especially property crime, down. Less serious violent crime, including common assaults, down. All signs suggest violence is worse among the most vulnerable people. But most people, including all of us, are safer.
  • 10:21 PM Chris Selley – Yeah, but guys, look to the left of the graph…
  • 10:21 PM Aaron Wherry – I am not entirely mistaken.
  • 10:21 PM Andrew Coyne – I love it when Paikin calls bullshit. Politely.
  • 10:22 PM Chris Selley – So that’s aboriginals as props in the healthcare question and props in the crime question. How about their own question?
  • 10:22 PM Aaron Wherry – Layton’s head is orange. Good branding.
  • 10:23 PM John Geddes – I have asked the Justice department for their research on sentencing patterns, and they admit they’ve got nothing. So this stuff about judges being soft seems to be mostly anecdotal.
  • 10:23 PM Aaron Wherry – And by anecdotal, John means imaginary.
  • 10:24 PM Kady O’Malley – My room gave that round to Layton.
  • 10:24 PM Aaron Wherry – Lots of “oohhhs” from the press room.
  • 10:24 PM Kady O’Malley – To that question?
  • 10:24 PM Martin Patriquin – Are they supposed to be directing questions straight to one single politician?
  • 10:24 PM Aaron Wherry – To Layton’s line.
  • 10:25 PM Kady O’Malley – meanwhile, over at Palin v Biden, Biden said (a propos of something) that “I am a member of the Senate, and I live in a beautiful home.”Imagine if a Canadian MP said that… (apotter wrote this)
  • 10:26 PM Kady O’Malley – Kady, for the record, is not wandering over to the Palin room.
  • 10:26 PM John Geddes – Does anybody have any idea what it’s going to be like in Afghanistan three years from now? Are we saying we’re gone no matter what, even if President Obama asks us to stay?
  • 10:27 PM Paul Wells – The problem with Harper’s argument — that Afghanistan will only stand up if ISAF stands down — is that Canada can’t stand down on behalf of ISAF. If Harper believes Afghanistan needs a date certain for a multilateral withdrawal, he needs to have been lobbying other ISAF contributors for their own commitments to pull out in 2011. By Harper’s logic — a word I abuse by employing it here — it does no good for Canadian soldiers to withdraw if American, British, French or Central European soldiers replace them.
  • 10:27 PM Aaron Wherry – Selley… The NDP’s put out a fact check saying the average salary of an artist in Canada is 23,500. They say Layton said it was around 20,000.
  • 10:28 PM Chris Selley – Thanks, Wherry. In keeping of the theme of the evening, would it be wrong of me to blame their poverty on the Liberals?
  • 10:28 PM Andrew Coyne – Paikin! Paikin! Paikin!
  • 10:29 PM Chris Selley – Harper: “If we never leave, will the job ever get done?” Uhhh…
  • 10:29 PM Kady O’Malley – Okay, Potter and I can’t even decide what “winning” and “losing” mean. So who is doing which?
  • 10:30 PM Paul Wells – Harper has a defensible answer, but only if all NATO troops withdraw together! But again, there is nobody to his “right,” urging for an open-ended mission. So Dion, and now Layton, are left to argue that he actually WILL leave troops in on an open-ended basis.
  • 10:31 PM Chris Selley – Dion: “You don’t leave Afghanistan as you leave a camping.” A good point. A good, bilingual point.
  • 10:31 PM Paul Wells – Duceppe! Duceppe! (An EXTREMELY limited endorsement).
  • 10:31 PM Aaron Wherry – Did Harper just say Iraq was an error?
  • 10:32 PM Chris Selley – Shhhh!
  • 10:32 PM Aaron Wherry – When did he come to that realization?
  • 10:32 PM Martin Patriquin – He did. He’s said it before, though.
  • 10:32 PM Kady O’Malley – That nearly got interesting!
  • 10:32 PM John Geddes – @Wherry Only the WMD part.
  • 10:32 PM Paul Wells – Yes, I believe he did. A sort of virgin-birth error, not made by anyone, and yet it came into existence somehow.
  • 10:32 PM Andrew Coyne – Duceppe is effective at the question gambit. Harper makes the mistake of answering.
  • 10:33 PM Aaron Wherry – No… No… let’s not move on from that Ms. May.
  • 10:33 PM John Geddes – May is getting into legalisms now.
  • 10:33 PM Andrew Coyne – It’s okay — it makes her look grounded.
  • 10:33 PM Aaron Wherry – Selley… I kid you not, the NDP war room has just emailed me asking that you check your email.
  • 10:34 PM Kady O’Malley – The NDP has also begun factchecking the National Post.
  • 10:34 PM Chris Selley – Ha. Away I go.
  • 10:34 PM Kady O’Malley – The calls are coming from inside the house!
  • 10:34 PM Paul Wells – OK, weirdly Dion is more realistic on Afghanistan than Harper is. Dion extends to 2011 “to prepare the rotation” — i.e., as a member of a large coalition. Harper extends to 2011 so Afghanistan can manage without any outside troops. Which is a decision no Canadian prime minister can make or even much influ
    ence.
  • 10:35 PM Chris Selley – Regarding artists’ salaries, Ian Capstick refers us to the Canada Council.
  • 10:36 PM John Geddes – “I’m encouraging them to work toward similar goals” You’re right, Paul. He wants everybody out in 2011.
  • 10:36 PM Chris Selley – Regarding smuggled handguns, Ian Capstick refers us to the NDP’s plan to crack down on smuggled handguns.
  • 10:36 PM Martin Patriquin – Dion: “I want my Canada back.” Oddly similar to this guy: www.galganov.com
  • 10:37 PM Kady O’Malley – We love Duceppe here.
  • 10:37 PM Andrew Coyne – I hate it when Dion goes for the slogans. His whole stock in trade is sincerity, and he cheapens it when he does.
  • 10:38 PM Kady O’Malley – Andrew Potter: “Seriously. Manufacturing, WTF?”
  • 10:38 PM Aaron Wherry – His father was a comedian.
  • 10:38 PM John Geddes – Proportional representation is her top priority?
  • 10:38 PM Andrew Coyne – Here, here!
  • 10:39 PM Andrew Coyne – I mean hear, hear!
  • 10:39 PM Chris Selley – Here we go. Artists salaries. Average $23,500. Dancers are poorest, $15,000. (Insert mean-spirited or ideological joke here.) Their choreographers make $43,000. Jerks.
  • 10:39 PM Kady O’Malley – oh! oh!
  • 10:39 PM Andrew Coyne – RP!
  • 10:39 PM Paul Wells – Does anybody believe Elizabeth May is some kind of wack-nut extraneous presence with no business here — or a blatant stalking horse for Dion? Because I don’t think she remotely resembles either. I think so far she’s redeeming the choice to have her here.
  • 10:40 PM Andrew Coyne – She’s a threat to the NDP, even if Jack doesn’t seem to know it.
  • 10:40 PM Aaron Wherry – Harper’s going to have a busy first day.
  • 10:40 PM Paul Wells – Oh, Jack sure knew it… that’s why a lot of NDP strategists were very displeased that she managed to break into this thing.
  • 10:41 PM Kady O’Malley – Jack is weirdly obsessed with Exxon today.
  • 10:41 PM Chris Selley – Why do I hate Exxon so much all of a sudden?
  • 10:41 PM Chris Selley – I win.
  • 10:41 PM Martin Patriquin – It’s a little off-topic, but why did Harper oppose her appearance here? The more credible she is, the more the left vote splits.
  • 10:42 PM Chris Selley – Paikin!
  • 10:42 PM Kady O’Malley – That’s never been clear.
  • 10:42 PM John Geddes – Only a few days ago Layton was signaling he would be going after Harper not Dion
  • 10:42 PM Aaron Wherry – Only yesterday Layton was signaling he would be going after Harper not Dion.
  • 10:43 PM Kady O’Malley – that was freaky.
  • 10:43 PM Martin Patriquin – Get a room, you two.
  • 10:43 PM Paul Wells – This is an odd little thing. Layton delivered the will-you-listen-to-the-premiers-who-don’t-like-your-green-shift question that has been a major Conservative point this week, and Harper didn’t perk up as he listened. Layton was carrying Harper’s water — only temprorarily — and Harper didn’t seem to notice. Trivial, but it added to my general impression these two nights that the PM is a bit disengaged from all this.
  • 10:43 PM Chris Selley – No touching, Ms. May. No touching!
  • 10:44 PM Kady O’Malley – Andrew Potter sez: Liz May is doing great… as long as she doesn’t blow it by mentioning the Creatrix.
  • 10:44 PM Andrew Coyne – May just gave Harper a gift!
  • 10:44 PM John Geddes – Yes, and he’s unwrapping it very slowly
  • 10:45 PM Aaron Wherry – No new taxes!
  • 10:45 PM Martin Patriquin – “I think we need to be very clear.” If I had a shot every time you said that, Steve… oh wait. I have.
  • 10:45 PM Kady O’Malley – “Oh, come on>”
  • 10:45 PM Martin Patriquin – READ HIS LIPS! (Of course, he said it while drinking water, so it doesn’t count.)
  • 10:45 PM Kady O’Malley – My room loved that. In a mocking way.
  • 10:45 PM Chris Selley – That mumbling “I will not raise taxha” into his water glass is an attack-ad waiting to be made.
  • 10:45 PM Andrew Coyne – Oh the bloody Quebec-consensus…
  • 10:45 PM Aaron Wherry – I would, but he was holding a glass in front of his face when he said it.
  • 10:45 PM Kady O’Malley – It’s a very sarcastic room. I swear that’s not my FAULT.
  • 10:46 PM Kady O’Malley – Harper: “I Promise I Will Never Die.” (apotter)
  • 10:46 PM John Geddes – If you say “I will not raise taxes” while drinking a glass of water it will cure your hiccups.
  • 10:46 PM Chris Selley – Promise to kill| the income trust tax, Dion. DO IT.
  • 10:47 PM Paul Wells – Oh Andrew? Remember when you were excited about Flaherty calling for a single securities regulator? And I said it probably didn’t mean too much? Harper just said he’ll NEVER impose a regulator on any province that doesn’t want it. Something I’m sure you noticed, and regret.
  • 10:47 PM Chris Selley – Booo, babies!
  • 10:47 PM Martin Patriquin – Aimee!!!
  • 10:48 PM Chris Selley – Here’s the perfect chance for Dion to promise to axe the tax on income trusts.
  • 10:48 PM Andrew Coyne – Except that it’s awful policy, that is
  • 10:48 PM Aaron Wherry – Harper loves children. He has two of them. And they’re artists. Who believe we should pull out of Afghanistan in 2011.
  • 10:49 PM John Geddes – She hates the paparazzi. They plague her.
  • 10:49 PM Andrew Coyne – Demand Better! Conservative slogan 2004!
  • 10:50 PM Kady O’Malley – Note to War Rooms of all parties: I surrender.
  • 10:50 PM Kady O’Malley – Please stop emailing me with the fact checks.
  • 10:50 PM Kady O’Malley – (Until tomorrow, of course.)
  • 10:50 PM Chris Selley – @Coyne: I was being obliquely sarcastic.
  • 10:50 PM Aaron Wherry – Take a look at our platform?!?!?
  • 10:51 PM Kady O’Malley – Ohhh
  • 10:51 PM Chris Selley – ELIZABETH MAY.
  • 10:51 PM Paul Wells – Holy cow.
  • 10:51 PM Kady O’Malley – that was unfortunate
  • 10:51 PM Martin Patriquin – Oblique sarcasm. Drink!
  • 10:51 PM John Geddes – I’m glad to here the Prime Minister suggesting that we not give up the right to elect governments.
  • 10:51 PM Paul Wells – Knockout punch! Self-inflicted!
  • 10:51 PM Paul Wells – And this time I’m not sure I kid.
  • 10:51 PM Andrew Coyne – Jesus Harper looked sick there.
  • 10:51 PM Chris Selley – Layton attempts to piggyback on May, misses, falls on face, attempts bad sweater joke.
  • 10:52 PM Chris Selley – I dunno, I liked Harper’s little “you got me” smile there. Made him look quasi-human.
  • 10:52 PM John Geddes – Take a deep breath and go for it. Another great slogan.
  • 10:53 PM Chris Selley – Jack Layton malapropism! Drink!
  • 10:53 PM Chris Selley – Exxon! Drink!
  • 10:53 PM Andrew Coyne – Exxon! Drink!
  • 10:53 PM John Geddes – Layton attacking Dion a lot.
  • 10:53 PM Chris Selley – I win.
  • 10:53 PM Martin Patriquin – My feed just died. Drink!
  • 10:54 PM Kady O’Malley – Exxon and the bankers?
  • 10:55 PM Chris Selley – You know what would help Harper? New hair.
  • 10:55 PM Andrew Coyne – Another good moment for Harper. Again, because he was being true to himself.
  • 10:55 PM Aaron Wherry – And a platform.
  • 10:55 PM Chris Selley – Mostly hair.
  • 10:55 PM John Geddes – May must be losing people here.
  • 10:55 PM Chris Selley – Too much, Ms. May.
  • 10:56 PM Andrew Coyne – Don’t agree. I thought that was devastating.
  • 10:56 PM Kady O’Malley – I dunno, my room seems to be liking her.
  • 10:56 PM Andrew Coyne – And I don’t even agree with her argument.
  • 10:56 PM Martin Patriquin – What did she say? Damn you Global. DAMN YOU!
  • 10:56 PM Kady O’Malley – I hope Harper and Duceppe start arguing about that thing that nobody understood
  • 10:56 PM Kady O’Malley – with the RCMP and Michel Gauthier and a lot of anger. And lies.
  • 10:58 PM Andrew Coyne – May’s worst tendency is to shout over Harper. She’s gained a lot of yards here, but she looks like a yahoo when she does that.
  • 10:58 PM Andrew Coyne – Now she’s shouting over Paikin.
  • 10:58 PM Kady O’Malley – And now, the spin!
  • 10:59 PM John Geddes – Harper ends strong, although Dion did okay squeezing in the he’s-a-mean-guy stuff.
  • 10:59 PM Andrew Coyne – We end on a note of Canadian smugness.
  • 10:59 PM Chris Selley – Yeah, that was a bad, schoolmarmish ending for May.
  • 10:59 PM Aaron Wherry – So how badly will the daily columnists judge who won this one?
  • 11:00 PM John Geddes – I don’t know what to make of May being such a big part of it. To me she was powerful but not always appealing.
  • 11:01 PM Martin Patriquin – I say May did remarkably well.
  • 11:02 PM Chris Selley – I agree with Patriquin on May. But even if she was “powerful but not always appealing,” that’s gotta be pretty solid for a party that got 4.48% in 2006.
  • 11:03 PM Paul Wells – I think Harper had a difficult night, and not only because of the geometry of things — four against one. At times, not usually but sometimes, he seemed genuinely unsure how to respond — Question Period is a poor training ground for level playing fields.
  • 11:05 PM Paul Wells – But It’s not clear to me who would benefit from any votes Harper might have lost. Dion had a strong night, and I don’t think his English was a serious problem for 10 seconds out of the whole night. But Layton and May were more often genuinely funny, and May was sometimes quite passionate. And sometimes a little flakey.
  • 11:05 PM Paul Wells – I’ll leave it there. Off to scrums. Cheerio!
  • 11:05 PM Martin Patriquin – Global’s polls, whatever they’re worth, has Harper ahead, with Dion second. May said to have been a surprise hit.
  • 11:05 PM John Geddes – The Dion/Layton clashes seemed more direct than either’s exchanges with Harper. Isn’t that good for Harper?
  • 11:05 PM John Geddes – In that Harper wasn’t taking all the fire.
  • 11:08 PM Kady O’Malley – How far apart, Martin?
  • 11:10 PM Kady O’Malley – Okay, I’m going to flee this gala before the photographer who keeps taking pictures of me typing gives me a serious complex.
  • 11:10 PM Kady O’Malley – Goodnight, all!
  • 11:37 PM Chris Selley – Coyne calls it for May on At Issue. “Managed to avoid using the words ‘this life-giving orb.'”
  • 12:17 AM Andrew Coyne – Tomorrow’s drinking game: every instance of the phrase “no knock-out blows” in hack news reports.

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