Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Final Guelph debate analysis

The Guelph Mercury posted a video clip of the four main candidate's closing statements at the debate on Tuesday. You can find the video here. Take a look at it first before reading my synopsis, and let me know if I've got it right.

In order they presented:

1) Frank Valeriote, Liberal
Some folks in Guelph have come up with a nickname for Mr. Valeriote, based on all his debate performances... "Angry Frank". Seriously, in every single debate I attended, virtually every statement or answer he gave was given with a whole lot of anger. In this video, he was significantly more tame than his previous performances... my hunch is his handlers gave him some tips. No more angry pointing at the crowd or his opponents. He also toned down his rhetoric in this final performance, on previous nights he'd been all attack, all the time. In this final clip, he's still on the attack, and still somewhat angry sounding, and doesn't really make much of a case as to why people SHOULD vote for him... only reasons why people SHOULDN'T vote for his rivals. And of course, the obligatory call for "Strategic Voting", which is just code for "Vote for me, we're getting desperate!" The Green Party really has the Liberals worried this time around, their presence is stronger than I've ever seen, and they have a real shot at taking this seat... much I'm sure to the dismay of Frank and his plans for a coronation in Guelph.

2) Tom King, NDP
Likely the most calm and mellow of all the candidates. Tom used his final statement of the campaign to encourage people to not necessarily vote for him, but to "Vote for what you REALLY want". Interesting move. I don't think he really hit home with it, but it was certainly food for thought. He begins his statment essentially mocking the whole political debate process, and of course derides Frank's call for "Strategic Voting". Not his finest debate conclusion, but different.

3) Gloria Kovach, Conserative
Clearly the most energetic of the four closing statments. Now some people are going to say that I'm biased, but I honestly think that Gloria most effectively used her time in making her case as to why people should vote FOR her, instead of using their vote to vote AGAINST someone else. One statement that was sure to rile partisans in the crowd was the line, "Do you want Guelph to be part of the Government?", taking an indirect shot at her Liberal rival, whom even the Mercury has said would likely be destined for the Opposition backbenches if elected. "Conservatives don't just talk about things, we get things done" was another hard hitting line, and well said. A very effective conclusion to the debate for her, presenting a solid and POSTIVE case for electing her, while reminding people of her opponents weaknesses in a non-inflamatory manner.

4) Mike Nagy, Green
Also another solid debate performance from the political veteran, who's on his third campaign. (2004 & 2006) He handled questions from the crowd well, including hitting a homerun on a Liberal planted question that was intended to attack him. (the Liberal questioner even admitted afterward that Mike had "hit it out of the ballpark", his words) He did stumble a number of times through his closing statement, but he was making it without notes... making eye contact with the crowd the whole time, which was quiet effective. He also effectivly used his time to remind the audience that while all the other parties have been talking "green" recently, they're party has been hammering at these issues for 20 years, and he personally for the last five. He also took a dig at Frank's call for "Strategic Voting", obviously because any strategic voting in this town could in fact deny the Greens here their first elected MP in Canada. Despite what the Liberals would have people believe, things really are that close in this riding. It also helps Mike that the Guelph Mercury officially endorsed him in today's paper.

Mike also had the best line of the night, which once again, I was not able to get on video, in response to Frank Valeriote talking about climate change... "While Frank critizies the Tories for "buring down the house", he didn't tell you that it was the Liberals who lit the match."

Feel free to share your thoughts, in case you feel I've missed anything, or got things wrong.

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