Canadian election debate

Last night was the first and only English language election debate for the upcoming Canadian federal election next month. As is usually the case in Canada, it was less of a debate between four candidates and more of a 3 on 1 back fourth between the Prime Minister on one side and the three opposition parties’ candidates on the other. It was actually funny to watch at certain points because the format called for rotating one on one debates for the first part of each question. When it was two opposition parties’ leaders pitted against each other they both looked to their counter debater and then to the Prime Minister who was not allowed to speak at that moment.

It is tougher to have a well thought out debate like is the case in U.S. Presidential debates because there are twice the number of candidates and one of them is not even running for the same thing. It is a bit odd that Gilles Duceppe is in this debate since he is only running in Quebec. I am not necessarily supporting or opposing the Green Party leader’s exclusion in this debate, however a serious case can be made that she deserves to be there more than Gilles Duceppe. At least the Green Party is running throughout the country and the party leader, Elizabeth May is running to be Prime Minister (even though she has no chance).

All in all, I don’t know how much of a change this debate will have on the polls. I do think that Prime Minister Harper did perform better than I expected. I really thought he might shoot himself in the foot but, he actually held his own quite well against the onslaught of the three other candidates. It will be interesting to see if and how the polls change after a day or two following the debate.