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Au Canada, On Parle Anglais *Et* Francais! - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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Au Canada, On Parle Anglais *Et* Francais! [Oct. 2nd, 2008|08:31 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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What with work and the commute turning me upside down, I haven't had the time to properly ponder last night's French-language debate, but for the record, here are some of my impressions.

I thought Dion won (whatever the hell that term means in this context). He struck me as passionate but calm, and as someone who very much knew what he was talking about. (The 8:00 PM CBC Radio newscast suggested a quick poll of Quebecers agreed with me.)

Harper struck me as little more than smug (but note that I despise the man nearly as much as I loathe his policies), occasionally defensive but always convinced not so much that he was right, but that he was better than those he was debating.

Layton impressed me more than I thought he would (and I speak as someone who has almost always — though more often than not, with nose plugged — voted for the NDP). His French was very good and he too seemed to know what he was talking about, though his robot-like insistence on bringing every question around to "families" and ordinary people also makes me cringe as sounding contemptuous.

May impressed me largely because I had heard that her French was really, really questionable, and it was clear she understood what was going on around her; when she stumbled, you knew it was because she was having problems with vocabulary, not because she was retreating to sound-bites because she had nothing else to say.

And Duceppe? Well hell, he's the eminence grise of these debates. He tore into Harper with a will and I suspect he did a lot of good for the (temporary) future of the Bloc.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sooguy
2008-10-03 01:09 am (UTC)
Pretty much sums up my thoughts as well on the debates last night.

I watched most of it on TV with "English" dubbed translators.

It was odd, the translator dubbing for the moderator had an Australian accent and the translator dubbing for one of the other leaders had a slight Scottish (or maybe it was Irish) accent. Seemed odd considering the debate was in French that they had English accents even when dubbed.

I think it will be interesting to see how defensive Harper is tonight.

Elizabeth May is ripping into Harper on the economy right now as I type this.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-10-04 12:51 am (UTC)

Whatever Happened to Procuring Locally!?! Sheesh ...

Someone at the new job mentioned the accents of the translators as well. Very peculiar.

I was pleased to see a headline report that most Quebecers thought Dion had won, no matter what the professional "nationalists" who dominate the Quebecois media had to say.
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[User Picture]From: pbprincess
2008-10-03 11:54 am (UTC)
I listened to the English debate last night and was impressed with Dion: so often I was surprised it was a liberal talking and kept asking Leo if it was Duceppe. Also, May clearly had the information at her fingertips. I'm definitely voting Green, but it's interesting that the leaders debate only reinforced the impressions I got of the local candidates when they spoke at our school.

The Conservative Candidate was a no-show.

Olivia Chow totally talked down to the kids and didn't answer questions.

Christine Innes was smart, professional, but a little boring and tended to take too long to get to the point.

Stephen LaFrenie wore old cargos and a tshirt, but was able to speak at the right level for the kids, had the facts to hand and was clearly passionate about the issues. He also walks the walk: he makes about 10,000 a year and spends a lot of his time working with Haitian relief organizations.

I just can't stomach voting for Chow.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-10-04 12:57 am (UTC)

Quel Surprise! Quel Choque!

The Conservative Candidate was a no-show.

I don't imagine the Tories think they've got much of a chance in Trinity-Spadina; might as well stay home and ... do whatever it is that sacrificial Tory candidates do during elections.

I'm very much in an anybody-but-Harper state of mind, and so I've decided to hold my nose and vote NDP this time around (again), since Peggy Nash is the incumbent in Parkdale High Park. For the same reason I'm tempted to urge you to hold your own proboscis and vote for Chow, but I can't in all honesty offer up much enthusiasm for doing it.
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[User Picture]From: pbprincess
2008-10-04 04:12 am (UTC)

Re: Quel Surprise! Quel Choque!

Honestly, I've thought through my strategy. If we're talking ABC, I don't think there's much of a chance for the Conservatives to get in in Trinity Spadina (see your comment), so my Green vote doesn't really matter in the long run, whether the Liberal or the Ndp Candidate is the one that actually wins.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-10-04 01:30 pm (UTC)

Re: Quel Surprise! Quel Choque!

The new funding rules also make it more worthwhile to vote for your candidate of choice even if they don't (maybe especially if they don't) have much of a chance of winning. So long as the Tories won't sneak up the middle, you may vote Green with Young Geoffrey's blessings. (You were waiting on those blessings. Weren't you?)
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[User Picture]From: pbprincess
2008-10-04 04:14 pm (UTC)

Re: Quel Surprise! Quel Choque!

Naturally. ;)
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[User Picture]From: mijopo
2008-10-03 01:23 pm (UTC)

my French is lousy and I hate listening to translators

I tried to watch some of the debate on CPAC, was reminded of how awful my French comprehension is, it was fun to see Dion talking confidently and fluently, though. I then tried to watch with translation on. Translators bug me.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-10-04 12:58 am (UTC)

Re: my French is lousy and I hate listening to translators

I know the feeling about translators.

Dion did look/sound good, didn't he? And last night, he stumbled a lot less than I expected him to and it was clear he didn't have any problems with comprehension.

I haven't (quite) given up on my Liberal majority prediction just yet ...
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