All candidates debate in Parkdale-High Park

Here are the candidates:

Andrew Borkowski Christian Heritage Party of Canada

Jilian Saweczko Conservative Party of Canada

Rob Rishchynski Green Party of Canada

Rob Rishchynski

Gerard Kennedy Liberal Party of Canada

Gerard Kennedy

Terry Parker Marijuana Party

Peggy Nash New Democratic Party of Canada (presently holds the seat)

Peggy Nash

What we saw:

Some highlights included –

The Christian Heritage Party of Canada candidate was funny and served as comic relief. He got booed heavily when he said that he does not believe that global warming is real and that it has served to make Al Gore rich.

The Green Party candidate was very succinct and he also knew the party policies. Very relatable and discussed not being part of partisan politics, referring to Nash and Kennedy. Green Party discussed tax strategies including  not taxing income up to $25,000.

Marijuana party candidate was a joke and funny.

A major theme of the night became the issue of how to help the environment and the economy – mainly taxing at the source, cap and trade or carbon tax.

NDP surprisingly were really strong on the issues of arctic sovereignty and stopping foreign takeovers. She spoke strongly on opposing the war in Afghanistan and how her party voted against the Afghanistan war extension twice.

Kennedy had to defend supporting the current government’s mandates in parliament and he discussed how him and his party plan on reversing the items they voted for if elected to a new government. He played the victim card and said that they had to juggle between bringing down the government and forcing an election or trying to work with what they had.

The Conservative candidate kept referring to the new child benefit and the GST cut as a way of decreasing poverty in cities. She also briefly discussed the Conservative green plan as a set of fines for large companies that have large carbon emissions.

When asked, the NDP candidate discussed the possibility of a coalition with any other party and the Liberal candidate shot the idea down.

Abstraction reaction observations:

Jilian Saweczko

– not a clear communicator but at least she showed up. Long winded and read from a script. Has a son in the service and did not say she wanted to pull the troops out of Afghanistan. Was pro-life but said that Harper would not open the issue. Hard to understand because of accent and lack of communication skills.

Peggy Nash

– clear, concise, affable, competent, engaging, a lot of applause, roars from the crowd, respectful to the other candidates, proficient, clearly stated her stance on every issue

Rob Rishchynski

– clear, concise, not as articulate but made key points

Gerard Kennedy

– smarmy, overly confident, not direct in his answers, blustery, came off very evangelical and grandiose, grabbed mic and walked about the stage as if in a church service, impatient with the organizers, visible flustered at times, was reprimanded by the moderator, rude

4 Responses to “All candidates debate in Parkdale-High Park”

  1. 1 Ken Stevens
    October 2, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Here are my observations from the all candidates meeting last night, largely echoing your observations.

    I went into the meeting planning to vote for Peggy Nash but prepared to change my vote to Gerrard Kennedy.

    What was up with the moderator? He was friendly and fair to all the candidates with a very notable exception–he was downright rude to Gerrard Kennedy. Perhaps he took offense to Gerrard making his opening statement in front of the table, but that is no reason to be disrespectful to him all evening. When the PC candidate went overtime, the moderator gently asked her to “wrap it up please” and gave her 15 seconds. The second Gerrard went over time, he barked “Sit down Gerrard!” or “Put down the mic Gerrard!” Also, there were a number of occasions where a question or answer contained an implied attack against the Liberals. Without exception, the moderator gave the mic to the PC candidate when Gerrard was clearly the one who needed to rebut. I’m all for giving all the candidates their fair turn at the mic, but this moderator displayed an unprofessional bias against Gerrard Kennedy.

    That being said, I have to say that I was appalled by Gerrard’s performance. Gerrard’s displayed outrage at the moderator’s rudeness towards him and it was not becoming of a candidate seeking election. He made faces, waved his arms and otherwise dramatically demonstrated his frustration that he wasn’t given the mic when he should have been. The moderator fed this frustration by treating him like a misbehaving child. While this made the moderator look bad, it made Gerrard look even worse. It was as though Gerrard was saying “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM???” “I WAS THE EDUCATION MINISTER FOR GOD’S SAKE!” He came across as a spoiled prince who did not need to earn his throne. If I didn’t know better, I’d say the moderator was an NDP plant who took a can-opener to Gerrard’s Achilles Heel.

    Peggy, on the other hand, was fully composed the whole evening and connected very well with the crowd. Where Gerrard came across as a stump grandstander, she was a voice of calm and sense. Where Gerrard came across as defensive, Peggy was rock solid.

    So I was not persuaded to change my vote, mostly due to the personal character on display.

    Lastly I have to mention the Christian Heritage candidate who stole the show. His self-deprecating wit had the crowd in stitches and was in stark contrast to Gerrard’s panic.

    The Green candidate impressed. The PC candidate was pathetic.


  2. October 2, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Hey Ken,

    Great summary. Are you the guy that I met on the street with his kid after the debate? LOL because others have said the same things as you and I! Anyways, you should post this on the Macleans blog where I posted it too.


  3. October 3, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    OMG, really small world!

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