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COMMENTARY · 13th April 2011
Merv Ritchie

Only Jack Layton actually acted like a real person in the Leadership debate tonight, April 12, 2011. Harper was a stone faced monotone drone acting as if he said something real, he would lose his train of thought; “Me Good, You Bad.”

Iggy looked like a guy waiting to be seen, with his irritating smile, the one with his skinny goofy teeth showing between his lips as they rise up to his ears on each side of his head. It is a cross between the Cheshire cat smile and some murderous clown mask from a chainsaw massacre movie.

Jack; well he kept trying to pull the Gordon Wilson trick, raising his arms to point at Harper and Iggy; staring meaningfully into the camera saying something like, “you see my friends, why you should vote for me?” It worked for Wilson but got us Campbell. I don’t know if we need to fall for that again.

But Harper was the trickster and was the clear winner. I don’t much care what the CBC and CTV pundits say. They seem to be a bunch of well paid lackey’s anyways. One thing I noticed for certain was the visible camera over that bloc head guy’s shoulder, the one Harper kept staring in with his honest, by golly, ‘I wouldn’t lie to you” look, “I am your Christian son.” Harper maintained his game and his composure. Jack however was the audience favourite.

Anyone that truly paid attention and watched the debate heard even the technicians in the background laugh. This was a closed meeting of the leaders, no audience to cheer or clap, (though someone inserted a clap track at the end of the debate on CBC). So any sound heard was from those present who are trained and expected to maintain composure and keep quiet. Jack however blew it up for everyone when he pulled the statement of the night. It was during a debate question posed by a fellow from Gibson’s Island which drew the leadership candidates into a discussion on Harpers crime and punishment passion; building more jails and importing the harsher punishment style from the USA.

Jack stated, “First I just have to say; I don’t know why we need so many more prisons when the crooks seem so happy in the senate.”

The sudden noise in the studio after he delivered this line was very noticeable. All the pundits however ignored this most dramatic feature of the debate in their post game interviews.

Watch and listen to this clip attached below. The entire debate had no background noise until Jack delivered this line. See if you can make it out. And watch the rest of it, he actually addressed real issues, housing and poverty.

Every leader wanted to score a point or two and of course a knock out blow was the desired win. No one however delivered that except Iggy and Harper were both speechless at times, but only for a moment. And then Layton delivered another one liner during the argument about coalitions and how the Canadian democracy works;

“Let me just follow up on this,” he began looking at Iggy, “Why are you then and have you been Harpers best friend all these last two and a half years supporting his agenda, ratifying what he wants to do, time and time and time again. This is what I don’t understand. In fact if, Mr. Harper,” he turned to Harper and said, “If it hadn’t been for him supporting you all this time, I’d have to be lending you my crutch.”

This clip is attached below also.

And this is what wins today, it is entertainment value. Can you entertain the people? Almost as if we all need a court jester. Jack delivered.

Nothing during the evening’s performance was more profound than Harpers staring at the camera just over the Bloc leaders shoulder, ignoring the other speakers and with steely eyes repeating “Me Good, You Bad”: And of course there was Iggy’s lacklustre teethy grin; Jacks open confidence and Dufus’s I don’t care about Canada attitude. We still wonder why Elizabeth May, representing a party who runs seats in all of Canada was not in this debate and Dufus was.

No disrespect Gil Duceppe, you are a politician and should be able to take it, but you don’t represent a Canadian Political Party, get out of our debates!
You can clearly see the lens Harper kept staring straight into. Was this provided by the consortium conspiring mainstream media? One can only wonder.
You can clearly see the lens Harper kept staring straight into. Was this provided by the consortium conspiring mainstream media? One can only wonder.
How he looked to the audience, almost whenever he spoke.
How he looked to the audience, almost whenever he spoke.