September 10, 2006.
Rae looked competent and comfortable
Dion finished off in english and said, "...i'll do the right thing for your environment and the right thing for your wallet!" This sounded too much like a Capital One commercial. "What's In Your Wallet?"
Ignatieff. Did he say what I thought he said? Did he end by saying, "Quebec will be your nation and Canada will be your country!" Is that what I heard?
Dryden speaks french! At least he managed to pull it off in the intro. We'll look to the debate for more evidence that this monkey is off his back. Dryden said - quite effectively - "We failed you as a party" and "We need you", obviously referening to the Quebec voters, and stated that the Conservatives are "...not your party"
Kennedy mentioned the withdrawl from Afghanistan.
Marth Hall Findlay. Walked in front of the podiums and took a hand mike for her delivery which was effective. She also won this round by declaring : "...We want a leader who we can trust to take action and get things done...a personal compass...(with) core values...(to) invigorate this party and re-inspire Canadians." Well done MHF.
Rae unfortunately draws Volpe and Bennett. No where to go here for BR.
Ignatieff draws Dion. Ignatieff's hand gestures are distractingly similar to Trudeau’s.
Dion is strong. He is in his element drawing a question about energy and technology. Drawing big applause. Ignatieff leaves to cheers.
Dryden draws Brison and Kennedy. Dryden is speaking french! But his comments are rather enemic suggesting a limited range but well done nevertheless!
Dryden lucky to draw Brison. Brison's french makes Dryden sound like Francois Mitterand. oh oh...wait for it...Dryden and Brison squaring off in French. The French language has seen better days. Dryden looks relieved as he leaves the stage, but not more than Brison who can't get off the stage fast enough.
Marth Hall Findlay draws Fry and Volpe. This is my chance to break for a sandwich. MHF is very strong in her passionate plea (in english) to have NATO clarify our role in Afghanistan.
Dion draws Rae and Dryden. The Quebec Question. This should be good.
Would you consider it a priority to gain Quebec's consent. How would you proceed if at all?
Dion First. We are better united. We (Quebecer's) are very good Canadians. Some of us need a push! - but we are good Canadians.
Rae next. I do NOT want to go back over this issue. The ideal constitutional agreement is...like a dream. Important to focus on practical issues, health jobs etc. We CANNOT have another constitutional failure.
Dryden. He is speaking French! The history of Canada is the history of the two nations (together).
Dion speaks to big applause. He says "humbly" that he is the one to lead this charge.
Rae next. Suggests that Quebec as a nation, as a distinct society - suggests he is not sure how to define the (relationship). It is dangerous to change the Constitution. Negotiation is difficult.
Dryden talks about the history of a scoiety with understanding of attitudes. To live and let live. For a bi-lingual contry to survive and function.
Ignatieff draws Brison and Bennett. Who picked the tie for Ignatieff? Poor choice. Who set up the lighting for the debate? Poor execution. Yawn.
Dion draws MHF and Kennedy. Question about immigration and "social cohesiveness". Who writes these questions? Yawn. Dion scores by quoting Laurier, "The right of immigrants are the rights of all citizens." Nice job Stephane. MHF reminds us all that Canada is the most successful example of a pluralistic society in the world (because) of it immigration (policies).
Dryden draws Bennet and Fry. With respect to the five time Conn Smythe trophy winner and six time Stanley Cup Champion, it may be time for another sandwich. He is doing a fine job, however, with his french. By December he may actually be able to pull this off.
Ignatieff draws Kennedy and Volpe. Question on Nafta, Softwood, Trading of goods and services etc. Again I say, who writes these questions?
Rae draws Brison and MHF. Question on daycare. I bet Dryden was ready for this question. MHF refers to the Dryden daycare plan to much applause. Rae agrees that Dryden did a great job. Rae attacks the Harper 'non-plan'.
MHF. Again she goes with the hand mike and walks the stage. Refers to herself as "The daring choice". Dares us to be inspired.
Kennedy. Immigration, equality. The Canadian Advantage. Little to no applause.
Dryden. Our country was born in difference. A society of tolerance. We are defined by (what we have in) common. We are a global nation. Generous applause.
Brison. It is an advantage for Canada to have a strong (and) distinct Quebec. I will defend the values of Quebec because I share them.
Dion. We need a leader with vision, an action plan and the capacity to convince Canadians in english and in french. Our plan will be ready with a simple vision. Help me make Canada a sustainable economy. Great applause.
Ignatieff. Other candidates said that the constitutional question is too difficult but WE HAVE TO DO IT! We have to find solutions. Together we can build a good country.
Rae. Goes to the hand mike. MHF-style. We cannot promise things if we are not sure that we can be able to do it. I tried to quit politics but I cannot do it. This is my life! Is it just me or did Rae just go right after Ignatieff. This could get interesting.
Terrible format. Terrible questions. Terrible lighting. Too many candidates too little time. When will the 5 or 6 fringe candidates realize that it is time to do what is best for the party and drop out.
The winner of this debate? Dion.
As we have predicted, he is the candidate that might slide up the centre after Rae and Ignatieff face the 'anyone but' campaigns, or suffer under the weight of this constitution showdown touched on in their statements today.