Decision Canada 2006

Friday, December 16, 2005

Vancouver Debate - Issue by Issue

I'm posting this as a work in progress - this will be updated very frequently within the next two hours, so check back often.

Now that the debate is over, we come to the review and analysis. I've recorded the entire debate on my TiVo, now I'm going through each issue and my thoughts on who won the "issue."

As an opening note, a poll conducted before the debate told us that 29% of people expected Paul Martin to win the debate, 25% for Harper, 10% for Layton and 3% for Duceppe and 33% didn't know, that is a pretty big undecided margin, we could swing either way here.

Opening statements: Martin made the very inspirational "belief speech" Duceppe made the attack on the sponsorship scandal and Layton focused mostly on health care as well as additional attacks on the Liberals and the Conservatives. Harper focused on accountability, taxes and crimes - basically the party platform in 30s. Everyone but Martin of course made attacks at the Liberal party over the sponsorship scandal.

First issue: The same sex dispute.

Harper: Supports traditional definition of "marriage" - supports additional definitions for other relationships. Will allow free vote on the issue but the only person to bring the issue up.

Martin: Must protect rights of everyone, the PM cannot cherry pick which rights he wants to protect. A short attack on Harper with respect to changing the definition and how Harper cannot change it without the notwithstanding clause. The theme of "taking away a Charter right" was a common theme in Martin's speech on the matter.

Layton: Proud of how NDP candidates stood up for rights of minorities and how it is a sad that this issue is coming up. For the third time in the debate so far, telling people to vote for the NDP.

Duceppe: Similar to Martin and Layton, a speech about respecting rights for individuals and how rights must be protected. How the "religion of some" should not overwrite the rights of others.

Everyone but the Conservatives wants to consider the issue closed, and to be honest, I'm sick and tired of the issue coming up. The law was passed over a "free vote" and that is it. Let's drop the subject and move on to something more important.

Sub issue: Who interprets the Charter, the Courts or the Government

Layton: Off topic response, did not address issue.

Harper: Parliament should make laws and courts should interpret laws.

Duceppe: Parliament to make laws.

Martin: Attack on Harper, speech about how Martin will defend Charter of Rights.

Issue 2: Gun Control - Is the gun control bill a failure? What change would you make to gun control bill?

Martin: Must choke off supply of handguns by tighter controls at borders and prevent guns from being stolen. He will create special squad of RCMP officers to help with issue. Will ban handguns and give people hope.

Duceppe: Tougher control of border. He brought up issue of closure of RCMP offices at border. Suggested definition of different types of firearms. Attack on the mismanagement of the gun registry.

Harper: Effective handgun ban for years, suggested abolishing gun registry. Harper would spend money from gun registry into enforcement, mandatory prison sentences for illegal guns.

Layton: “Why hasn’t there been action on this” – suggested Liberals will talk again and not do anything. Focused on cutbacks under Martin, no platform just an attack on Martin.

All promises there, no real action plans. Nobody won this one; it was a lot of attack ad style speeches and not a lot of platform. Why can’t we give solutions and stop screaming at the other leaders!!!

Issue 3: Health Care – What steps would you take

Layton: Very anti private health care, only supports public health care. Supports additional training and certification for foreign trained doctors. In addition, he would reduce price of drugs.

Harper: No “quick fix.” - Will work with provinces to bring in “health care guarantee” to ensure that if people don’t get services within a timely manner, they can go elsewhere and the government will pay for it.

Duceppe: Way too much red tape. Wants front line people not marketers.

Martin: Have to protect universal publicly funded health care system. Will fund home care, will fund new doctors. Announced benchmarks to measure healthcare system.

I think everyone had a good point here, I think Layton does need to stop thinking that the private sector is evil, some private providers are a good thing! I agree with Harper and Duceppe there, we need to cut the red tape and bring in more front line people who can deliver the services. More doctors and fewer managers, that’s what will solve this crisis. Not a word about the big system, keeping people healthy and more. Almost everyone passed the problem off to the provinces, and no-one provided specifics.

And with 3 issues down, I’m going to call it a night. I’m about to fall asleep on my keyboard, and asleep commentary is not good commentary. I’ll have this finished by tomorrow afternoon at the latest!

The full transcript of the debate can be found at


  • Please do finish it off. I can see the debate in my mind with your review and it may be an issue come Jan 23.


    By Anonymous lance, at 12:17 AM  

  • I think the other three parties should stop Liberal bashing and concentrate on what they would do.

    By Blogger Whatever, at 10:28 AM  

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