Sunday, December 18, 2005

master debaters

Like the suckers we are, Vanessa and I spent Friday night watching the English language leaders' debate. Optimus Crime has a debate roundup that stole most of our observations and jokes, and demonstrated a less-wandering attention span. For our part, we spent a lot of time complaining that the NDP's PM lingo bingo cards were not keeping us adequately occupied.

But in my ongoing attempts to further trivialize politics, I offer the following supplementary notes:
  • Seriously, Gilles Duceppe kept doing Blue Steel (or "Acier Bleu," if you will). I couldn't find an appropriate picture but if you watched it, you know. Or maybe it was actually Ferrari and he's saving Blue Steel for the January debate.
  • The Conservative Party is so dedicated to looking consistent on the issues that Stephen Harper's hair DOESN'T EVEN MOVE. It was totally Ken hair.
  • If Jack Layton shaved his moustache, he would look like Peter Mansbridge.
  • The NDP's debate strategy, in full:
    -Ed Broadbent
    -"send more New Democrats to Parliament"
    -Ed Broadbent
    - forceful hand gesture
    -rinse, lather, repeat
    VANESSA (AND MUCH OF THE ELECTORATE): Who's Ed Broadbent?
  • Apparently rock stars are the new avenue to political legitimation or lack thereof. Not only did Layton think it was important to mention that Bono had withdrawn his support for the Martin government, but moderator Trina McQueen mentioned attending Parliament with "a rock star" who was appalled by the undignified behaviour of MPs. We assume that this rock star was also Bono, and we also predict that if Bono finds out about all of this, his head will finally actually explode.
  • Paul Martin is the Prime Minister of Canada, not the President of Math: "What Quebecers, they want to be respected and they want to know where their role is within Canada. Think about what's happened here. Six million people of an English-speaking population of 300 million and they have got some of the greatest artists in the world ..." (Six million French-speakers of a population of 30 million, you mean? Don't thank me, just give me a Senate appointment.)
  • We were both horrified to hear the NDP, of all parties, imply that Parliament would operate in a more dignified manner if it only included more women.
    MEGHAN: Hey, do you think Parliament would be more dignified if I was elected?
    VANESSA: (pause) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA .... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ....
    MEGHAN: I think I've written too much embarrassing stuff on the Internet to be able to run for office.
  • During Martin's impassioned pro-federalist speech, Duceppe danced like a chicken. We are not kidding you.

MEDIA BIAS NOTES:
- We watched the National following the debate, and there was a "fact-check" segment in which some tweed-suited guy refuted several of the statistical claims made by the leaders . . . but only by Duceppe, Harper, and Martin. Apparently the Liberals didn't make any mistakes. I mean, obviously Canada has a population of 300 million. (It's in the partial debate transcript on the CBC site, you can check it.) There's also the already much-covered issue in which the CBC in a 'non-editorial' news feature described a Liberal poll lead as 'promising'.
- A couple of weeks ago in the grocery checkout line I burst out laughing at the cover of Maclean's, which featured a picture of Jack Layton with the tagline "WHO IS THIS MAN . . . AND WHY IS HE GOING TO BE RUNNING THE COUNTRY?" or something to that effect. Yesterday I saw the cover of the current issue of Maclean's, featuring a picture of BC New Democrat Svend Robinson to go along with a cover story encouraging British Columbians not to vote for him. The logical conclusion is that Maclean's is in no way concerned about the Liberals losing votes to the NDP, at all.

"BE IT RESOLVED THAT IGNORANCE IS BLISS . . ."
As to the title of this post, it is not just a cheap joke but an awkward reminder of my past. I was involved in debating in highschool and was actually really good at it, until I quit in Grade 11 or 12. After one tournament in which I took home some hardware, one of the Debating Club staff supervisors obliviously wrote a morning announcement containing the phrase "master debater Meghan Harrison . . ." The student announcer barely got through it without giggling and it continued to haunt me for a year-and-a-half. And now I put it on the Internet for posterity, which is clearly a smart move. GOOGLE THAT, FUTURE EMPLOYERS. GOOGLE THAT.

I am back in Kitchener-Waterloo for the holidays. My mom is currently preparing an early Christmas dinner and just asked me how to set a table. Since I don't set the table for microwaved dinners, she had to call our neighbour.

PS: "Bartending" a Scottish family gathering = busy time.