Palin and Biden are throwing around vagaries, trying to amuse us with charming anecdotes, and making a huge fake-fest out of the whole thing.
The Canadian debate, on the other hand, is:
- extremely specific
- chock-full of policy
- an example of people "gettin' in each other's grills"
- vicious at times — but not the stupid-vicious stuff you see in the States
My impressions of the leaders, in alphabetical order:
Dion. Sure, he mangles the language, but the fellow actually makes some good points. I just wish people would, y'know, get past the fact he mangles the language. Hell, Chrétien barely spoke either of our languages, and he ran the place for a decade. Did this guy really win the Liberal leadership? Whatever they were smoking at the convention, I want a truckload of it.
Duceppe. Nothing to lose in the English debate, for sure, so he takes off the gloves and calls Harper out like the little bitch he is. I'd like the cut of his jib, if only his jib didn't advocate cleaving my homeland in twain.
Harper. The most American of all the debaters. Coincidence? Not at all. The hot air this guy's spewing could melt the polar ice caps. Also, I get the impression that, oddly, he doesn't really care too much for Canadians. Finally, watching Harper talk about the environment is like watching Don Rickles talk about mutual funds; you get the impression he really doesn't know much.
Layton. "Where's your platform? Under your sweater?" Holy shit. Great line. Name-dropped Tommy Douglas, too. Fiery and fiesty, and looks out for the workin'-man. Uses specific examples of manufacturing jobs that have recently vapourized (John Deere, that place in Goderich). I get the impression he actually, y'know, likes Canadians.
May. Name-dropped her friend Bill Clinton. I think this is the first time a lot of us have heard her for more than ten seconds. Oooooh, just name-dropped Sweden and Germany — both are places I've visited, and both are places I like. She knows her stuff, especially in terms of the tango that taxes and pollution can do with each other.
In conclusion, if Steve Harper says "tax cuts" again, I'm going to throw a shoe at the TV.