Wednesday, October 01, 2008

French-language leader's debates - Some technical observations

I'm only tuning in for short bits and bites of the French-language leader's debates. But allow me a few (mostly superficial) comments.

Initially, my reaction to the round-table set up was that it created an overly low-key atmosphere - designed to minimize a sense of excitement and any interesting body language. After watching for a while longer, though, I wonder if the set-up actually favours Stephane Dion. He's probably the most comfortable of the group when speaking around a seminar table. It reminds me of the set-up for my upper year courses.

I'm incredibly grateful to be in a region where I can listen to both debates in their original languages. I always watch the debates without subtitles to get a better sense of how the candidates communicate in the language in question. Although I wouldn't say that all the candidates have equal capacities in French, they are a much more bilingual cohort than we've seen in previous debates.

I stand by my argument that May should be included in these debates. That said, I wish that there was more opportunity for one-on-one interactions, and actual "debate", as opposed to sequential responses to questions. I would like to see the candidates challenge each other directly, rather than repeating their platform statements.

I also find it highly amusing that Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe and Stephen Harper are all dressed practically the same way. If I were writing for a fashion magazine, I'd say that baby blue shirts with blue striped ties are the new "hot" look for 2008. Where's the orange, Jack? Elizabeth May is also bringing a fresh new take on the cardigan with her vibrant green.

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