Musings —04.11.2011 06:50 AM—
- Are you excited, yet? I can assure you that the leaders certainly are. Of all the things you can do in your life, gambling your future – and that of your family, friends, staff and not a few Canadians – in a TV debate is very, very nerve-wracking. I write about this subject in the Sun tomorrow, and suggest that it is Michael Ignatieff with the most to gain: “Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff legitimately has a shot – two, actually – at becoming Prime Minister of Canada. And his first opportunity comes tonight, at the English-language leaders’ TV debates. His second comes later, at the French-language debate. If he does well in both debates – and if enough folks have tuned in to watch – a little bit of history could be made. If he sounds and looks like a Prime Minister – and not the effete, out-of-touch academic the Tories have insisted he is – Michael Ignatieff could win.”
- …and Iggy is nervous: Says he: “I’ve never done this before. I’m the only one of the leaders who has never done it. So I go in there with, what can I say?” Ignatieff told reporters in Toronto on Saturday. “I go in there with a sense of little apprehension. I’ve got a lot to learn.” He may be lowering expectations, and he may be telling the truth. Either way, it doesn’t matter what he says until he steps onto that stage in Ottawa. The pre-debate spin doesn’t count nearly as much as showtime.
- Ibbitson in the Globe: My fellow former Citizen summer student John also says the stakes are very high for Ignatieff: “Despite running a mostly error-free campaign, the Liberal Leader still hasn’t caught on with voters.” He needs a knock-out, John says, to narrow the gap with Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. That may worry Grits, but they should remember that the numbers haven’t changed so much because most of the gettable vote hasn’t tuned in yet. That’ll change tomorrow night.
- Doyle, also in Das Globen: John Doyle, being a fellow Irishman who is one of the few people able to pronounce my surname properly (it’s “kinsh-la,” sort of) is always a wonderful read. He occasionally offers up his views on politics, which makes his columns even wonderfuller to read. Says John: “And then there is the matter of the style and content of the TV debates. Again, in this area, we suffer by comparison with the U.S. The seriousness of American presidential debates is truly admirable and, often, our leaders’ debates look silly in comparison.”
- Liz is heard from: She’s still upset that she isn’t in the debates – and that the French encounter was rescheduled for the Habs-Bruins game. I understand (but don’t agree with) her being upset about getting the hook from the broadcast consortium – but sounding critical of the ages-old Montreal-Boston grudge match is unCanadian!
- Muldoon is heard from: Brian Mulroney was a guy who was always very effective in the leaders’ debates. He isn’t weighing in on that subject in this eyebrow-raising Star story – but he’s making his feeling very, very clear. And he doesn’t like Stephen Harper, at all. An amazing read.
- Paikin as a moderator: It’s well-known, in political circles, that Steve leans to Team Blue, but I don’t necessarily think he’ll be unfair in tomorrow’s debate. He’s been fine in the past. He’s stubbon, however. Such as when he showed appalling judgment by insisting that taxpayer dollars be used to host a white supremacist on TVO. Not his finest moment.
- Sun TV starts this week! Or in the next few days, anyway. Tune in!
- The new Campaigns and Elections is out: Give it a read and have a great debate week: