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Friday, October 3, 2008

Harper doesn't shine, but wins debate

The Globe and Mail reports that an instant poll conducted by Ipsos Reid after the televised leaders debate showed Prime Minister Harper won with 31 per cent support, but his lead and appeal as a prime minister slipped somewhat. NDP leader Jack Layton ranked second with 25 per cent support.

Elizabeth May was third, claiming 17 per cent of support, while Stéphane Dion was fourth overall with only 15 per cent of viewers saying he had won.

This about the way I saw it, although I would not have been as kind to Ms. May. It was a pretty rich to hear the leader of a party that in about 25 years has yet to elect a single member to parliament lecturing our prime minister as though she were his political equal.

Under the law and in most ways within our society, Ms. May is every bit the equal of Stephen Harper and Stéphane Dion, but politically her party and herself lack the accomplishments and the moral authority to sit at the same table as the Conservatives and the Liberals.

Ms. May's Green Party of Canada was founded in 1983 and is yet to elect a single member. In contrast, Mr. Harper's Reform Party of Canada was founded in 1987 and in about 10 years had elected 60 members to parliament, and by 2006 had become the governing party after a merger with a much smaller (12 members in 2000) Progressive Conservative Party.

When Ms. May actually earns her seat at the table, I'll take her seriously. Until that unlikely time, I see her as an unnecessary distraction.

2 comments — This is a moderated blog and comments will appear when approved. Please don’t resubmit if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, and please do not post material that is obscene, harassing, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable.

  1. This entire post is a lesson in political ignorance. The Greens won't be going away any time soon as they are now positioning themselves as an electable, viable party. It is not May's fault that the Greens have been marginalized by the media and treated as a fringe, single issue party since the 80s. I'm unsure how anyone could conclude that Harper "won" this debate as he was torn apart from every direction and was often completely unable to respond to points and criticisms brought forth by Layton and May.

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  2. If my post "is a lesson in political ignorance," your comment is a remarkable case of selective memory.

    The Reform Party was demonized by the media, yet managed to elect members. On the other hand, comments from that same media have been overwhelmingly favourable to the Greens—yet no elected members.

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