, 05.08.2018 09:02 AM

Who won last night’s #ONpoli debate?

  • Doug Ford needed to (a) be standing at the end of the debate, and (b) keep his cool.  He did both.  Win.
  • Andrea Horwath needed to (a) remind people that she existed, and (b) sound like she knew what she is talking about.  She did both.  Win.
  • Kathleen Wynne needed to (a) not sound like a Deputy Minister and (b) remember she is fighting for her life, and kick the living shit out of her two opponents.  She did neither.  Fail.
  • TV is 70 per cent how you look.  Doug looked nervous at the start, but less so as the show went on.  Andrea looked like she was having fun.  Kathleen looked like she was the meat in the sandwich, stuck between two opponents – and her suffragette outfit made her looked washed out on the CITY-TV set.
  • TV is 20 per cent how you sound.  Doug sounded scripted at the start and the finish – he (like most populists) is better speaking extemporaneously.  Andrea sounded like she’s been preparing for four years for that debate, and totally confident.  Kathleen sounded like a bureaucrat.
  • TV is 10 per cent what you say.  Doug wanted to gently suggest Kathleen is a fibber (“disingenuous,” six million times) and remind everyone about the Hydro exec schmozzle (“six million dollar man,” six million times).  Andrea said she had ideas – and people like ideas. Kathleen said stuff you’d expect a policy wonk to say (see above).
  • Winners: Doug won by not losing.  Andrea won by (finally) being seen and heard.
  • Losers: CITY-TV’s constant cutaways were irritating and let the politicians off the hook.  The production was a bit amateurish.  Meanwhile, Kathleen lost because she didn’t connect.  Don’t believe me?  Check out my Highly-Scientific™ Poll, above: my dog Roxy topped her!


  1. Charlie says:

    Winners: The actors hired by the Ford campaign to play real supporters.

    Losers: Ford campaign for hiring actors to play supporters for some reason.

    • Warren says:

      Like, why the Hell would they do that? Also: where can I get hired to stand in a crowd and yell a lot?

      • Miles Lunn says:

        Incredibly stupid and while I doubt Ford knew or authorized this, the buck stops at the top so will look bad. It will be interesting what type of conversation he has with Meredith Cartwright on this. Also explains the importance of vetting not just in ridings you think you might win but even in no hope ones. The PCs have zero chance at winning Toronto Centre, but a bad candidate can still sink your campaign even if in a no hope riding.

        • The Doctor says:

          It is funny, though, that — as everyone knows — astroturfing takes place on a massive scale online. Yet you do the same thing in person with live actors, and it’s somehow a different level of scummy. I actually think both kinds of astroturfing are equally scummy.

  2. Adam says:

    The constant harping that Horwath has been invisible and has to remind people that she exists is becoming ridiculous.

    She has been out there, campaigning and announcing policies in the platform for months on end.

    The difference is that our centre-right established big media outlets refuse to cover her or the ONDP (or the Greens, etc.) at all unless they absolutely have no choice. And they are actively reinforcing the tired old red-door/blue-door mentality in the minds of Canadian voters.

    • Pedant says:

      I don’t see how her policies differ from the Liberals.

      If she wanted to stand out, she’d propose something bold like eliminating public funding for the Catholic school board. I’m not clairvoyant but I believe such a wedge issue would attract voters in droves.

      • doconnor says:

        It was more the Liberals copying from the NDP, but the Liberal policies are popular. It’s the party which is unpopular.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        The other provinces that are concerned should follow us in Quebec, as applicable, and simply pass their constitutional amendment and then abolish all religious-based boards. Just have English and French language boards going forward.

  3. Jack McLeod says:

    The comments on twitter show;
    A giant leap for canine kind!

  4. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Let me quibble. Doug with his solid performance maintained his status as front-runner. However, Andrea has solidified her hold on second place. That’s a bigger gain, meaning she won. The NDP is now the only realistic alternative to the PCs.

  5. David says:

    Ford doesn’t seem like a premier. I think people will have their doubts and look to Horwath. Ford is creepy — and there’s always a chance for embarrassing stories to come out about any Ford!

    • Mario says:

      That time has past. All the scrutiny came when his brother was in office and Doug ran for mayor of Toronto and came in a surprising second place.

      • The Doctor says:

        I agree in the sense that a lot of anti-Ford people are dearly hoping for Doug Ford to be Rob Ford 2.0 and crash and burn like Rob. That’s the classic case of wanting to fight the last battle rather than the one that you’re actually facing. A bit like the Trump supporters who continue to obsess about Hillary and clearly want to run against Hillary in the midterms and in 2020.

  6. Liam Young says:

    I didn’t watch it and I don’t care because Mike Schreiner of the Green Party wasn’t present. The GPO is recognized as an official party yet the media ignores them.

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