Politics from North of the 49th Parallel
Fiery Debate, Impossible Analysis
Published on June 16, 2004 By IanGillespie In Politics

Wow. The most interesting election in twenty years?

As far as I can tell.

CTV has already called the moment of night -- Jack Layton's denunciation of Paul Martin for refusing to bring equal marriage to a vote in Parliament.

Stephen Harper was clearly the coolest of the bunch, but seemed to simply fall below the radar for extended periods of time.

That, though, may hurt Paul Martin most; he needed Harper's agenda front and centre.

Duceppe played his welcome role as an instigator. That must be fun, with nothing on the line in English Canada.

Martin floundered. Not two ways about it.

Anyone who says that tonight was 'not about scoring points', knows that he's lost the debate -- perhaps the election.

Layton? Aggressive. Lethal.

As a hardcore politico I loved it. We'll see if calmer folks agree.

on Jun 16, 2004
I watched it for an hour with my 2 rommates: a 19 year old co-op student and a guy who proudly swears he's never voted. The kid is voting conservative, my guess is he thinks Martin is old and busted and Harper is the new coolnesss. I had to point out which is our PM, which is the NDP guy, which is the Bloc guy, which is Harper. I ask the kid if he noticed how Layton looks like the guy from those "learn how to use a computer" informecials, we have a good laugh. Ahhh, subtle political indoctrination of the young is one of the joys of advancing age. Anyhoo, we also laughed as Martin got pummelled left and right, pun intended. Martin scored a knockdown versus Harper on Iraq. Layton scored with about a million Canadians saddled with student debt when he accused Martin's of defeating the defecit on the backs of students, he should hammer Martin more on this. Harper was cool and composed. The question undecided voters are asking is "Can this guy (be it Harper, Martin, or Layton) be Prime Minister?" I watched a bit of the french debate too and I think Harper comes out of the debates as a marginal winner, meaning he made Martin look so bad he'll pick up a percent or two.. Duceppe kept hammering Martin on corruption, no surprise there. Layton performed very well, though I think he looks a tad too ... excited, I guess is the word, which is part of his image I guess and not necessarily bad. He can worry about appearing prime ministerial later if his party picks up a bunch of seats in the election.