Thursday, October 02, 2008

English debates (II).

I see Gilles Duceppe's appeal. If I were able to vote BQ, I might consider it. He's clearly bright, engaged, informed, and genuinely outraged about Harper.

Layton's currently running second to Duceppe, IMHO. He's got the outrage down, but he's not coming off as quite as coherent in terms of his actual arguments. Some of the lines are cute (the "under the sweater" bit, for example), but my preference would always be for solid and persuasive argument with cute lines, rather than for cute lines without the argument.

Dion and May aren't even in the game, really. May keeps throwing up all these obscure stats and years-old quotes from Harper; generally, her arguments aren't striking me as forming any kind of coherent position. (Although, why do they keep calling her "Elizabeth"? Maybe I'm missing it, but I don't hear the boys saying "Ms. May".) I don't think she's embarrassing the Greens as everyone was worrying, but she's not showing the Greens are a serious alternative to the other parties. She's not yet at that level.

Dion keeps making these milquetoast, off-hand remarks. And, frankly, he strikes me as a whiner. I have yet to hear a coherent argument for some policy which differs from the policies of the Conservatives, and would actually appeal to a progressive voter. And he keeps talking to the friggin' camera! Like he's trying to have some private conversation with the "people at home"! Whoever told him this was a good idea should be shot: it doesn't make his ideas better and it doesn't make his arguments more persuasive or rigorous. It just makes him look like a manipulative tool.


Catelli said...

Elizabeth did better than I expected. She was coherent and solid enough that she managed to make Jack look like the crazy leftist loon.

Jack got the best two shots in with the original platform under the sweater comment, and when he asked Dion why we wanted to be Prime Minister when he supported Harper so much in parliament. However, he was firing off so much he was sure to land a few.

Dion started weak. He was agitated and his English suffered. He had a good point early on about Harper and Flaherty attacking Ontario but he utterly flubbed the delivery. He settled down later, but never recovered. His closing statement was painful.

Harper held his own (unfortunately). He had some distinct uncomfortable moments, but never let himself get knocked off base.

In the end, I think polls won't shift much. May might steal some from Layton.

The only unknown is the "undecided voter". Harper acted well enough to attract voters who want stability. But the best two performances were May/Harper in my books (in that order).

ADHR said...

I'm not sure about "crazy leftist loon". May didn't really distinguish herself successfully from the other parties, I think. I still don't really have a sense of how a Green Party government (if such a thing would come to pass) would differ from a Liberal government. Layton, by contrast, actually tried to adopt a different vocabulary to Harper and Dion -- which may have led to the "crazy leftist" impression. But I tend to think there was some methodology there: let Dion and Harper talk about tax cuts, and Layton can talk about jobs and community improvement.

Harper's good. There's no doubt about that. The problem is I find his ideology so odious that I can't really take him seriously. I think that's probably why he can't crack 40% for any sustained duration. He comes off as pretty articulate and confident, but what he's confident in is a combination of pure bullshit (his economic lines were simply laughable) and soft fascism (more jails! more soldiers! more big cash giveaways to corporations!).

I tend to think that polls are so micromanaged these days that the chance of polls shifting in any significant way is very low. The only scenario where I can imagine a significant shift was that May, being inexperienced, would have screwed up royally and tanked her party. And that didn't happen.

ADHR said...

Guh. In that last paragraph, first "polls" should be "debates".