Debatable Impact

There are many that say that an election campaign doesn’t really start until after the televised leader’s debate. If that’s the case, the end of last night’s french language debate could be heard as the report of a starter’s pistol. The question remains if either of the debates have had an impact on prospective voters, and whether the party leader’s direction has changed at all.

At the least, the debates tend to provide people with a glimpse at what theme the leaders are going to pursue in the coming weeks. Expecting a knock-out punch in one of these orchestrated media events is a little optimistic, but expecting to have a better idea what tactic the leaders will use is reasonable. Unfortunately, the debates didn’t reveal much that we didn’t already know.
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Promises, Promises

With their respective campaigns in full-swing, leaders from Canada’s political parties have turned from the initial volley of superficial character slams to meatier issues and policy statements. Well, mostly, anyways, if you ignore the constant drone of Conservative attack ads and the NDP version (really quite funny, actually, if you’ve seen them.) Stephen Harper released his party’s platform, filled to the brim with promises that had already been made in the ill-fated budget he was to have tabled before his government toppled under the weight of their own scandals, and only a little off the pace of the Liberal platform released by Iggy-Pop.

So, what is a prospective voter to do? And, what is this election really about? Promises are one thing, and are always abundant during an election campaign even if they are suspiciously absent after the election, when delivery on promises needs to occur. But, do voters really care what the issues are, or are they more interested in what’s in their own wallet (I just had a hallucinatory moment in which I thought I was more middle aged and had an accent), and whether they believe the superficial misdirection that marked the beginning of all this mess?
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