Monday, October 16, 2006

HARPER WINS LIB. DEBATE?

A compilation of punditry on yesterday's Liberal leadership debate (a debate I didn't know was occurring, more on that below), suggests many political pundits see Stephen Harper as the real winner of the debate.

This opinion is, of course, un-clever punditry masquerading as the opposite.

The suggestion is that the Liberal contenders beat up on each other so much last night that Stephen Harper looks great by comparison. This may be true, but the only people making that comparison are political pundits.

1. It's easy for Haper to look like the better prime minister, because he currently is the prime minister.

2. The Liberal leadership contenders, while they are running for Harper's job in the long-term, are currently running against each other.

3. The Liberal leadership contenders are currently competing for the votes of a select group of Liberals, not the votes of the Canadian public.

4. The only people who care about the race are Liberals and those others who care A LOT about political process and competition. I generally consider myself amongst the latter crowd, and I didn't know about the debate until I turned on the evening news last night.

Therefore it is rather unreasonable to say Harper won last night's debate. As a non-Liberal I'm not even beginning to consider my vote until I can assess what direction the Liberal party is taking with a new leader.

Posted by Matthew @ 11:21 AM