I thought the funniest part of the debate tonight was PM Paul Martin saying something like “being aboriginal causes poverty.” Ok, so he mis-spoke, it was still funny coming from a guy as self righteous as Paul Martin. Martin was self righteous enough to tell BQ leader Gilles Duceppe that Quebec is not a nation but a people, “just like the Acadians.” Yeah boy, that’ll do wonders on the national unity file!
Come to think of it, so will suggesting that we remove parliament’s right to use the notwithstanding clause. Naw, that doesn’t sound like an ill conceived idea hatched in desperation, the product of short term thinking. Naw, not at all. We’ll spin it like this, see? We’ll sell it like we’re giving the people power by doing that. They’ll never figure out that it actually involves ditching the sovereignty of the parliament in an effort to cling to power now. Sell the sizzle, not the steak, which happens to be swapping democracy for oligarchy, ie. create a wing of the Federal government (the supreme court) that is accountable to neither the house or the Senate, or to the people. They’ll love it! Get me Bono!
Tory leader Stephen Harper put in what I thought was, in all honesty, his best performance to date. He was conciliatory and statesman like. If Harper flubbed, I missed it. The closest he came was the missed opportunity that arose when Martin told him “the Americans are our neighbors and not our country.” That should have seen a rejoinder on Martin’s America bashing, which is unworthy of a national leader. Tackle the file, yes, but don’t let it get personal – as Martin can’t seem to help doing.
Gilles Duceppe was also very good – informed and even witty. Socialist Jack Layton sounded scripted, and like an also ran. That’s a shame because despite some very sharp differences that I have with his party and his vision of Canada, I would prefer to see the NDP get elected in a seat that the Tories can’t win. Why? I’ve been saying for a long time now, to anyone who will listen to me, that we need to kick the Liberal Party in the ass, and I mean hard. Discredit the Matinites and send the party to the backwoods to get its’ head on straight. If Jack could get away from the script that says his party is the only one that cares about social issues, he might be able to raise his credibility enough to get over 18% or whatever the NDP highwater mark is. A more statesman and reasonable claim would be that “we do it better.” But that would alienate the base, so I guess Jack’s screwed then.