Justin showed up. Wore pants, albeit short pants, and sounded like a really quite good university debater. Tom was unctuous. Lizzie was, sorry to say, drowned out. And Steve looked very much like the sort of adult one would want to have as Prime Minister. (And I don’t like Steve.)
No one landed a zinger. No one ran over time. Everyone was quite polite and very Canadian. On my Twitter feed one American who was watching the Republican Gong show could not help but compare and contrast and wish the US had something like the pretty solid debate we had tonight.
My one note is this: Trudeau, Mulcair and Harper all talked over Lizzie May. It grated. I kept hoping that Harper would “white knight” Liz and say something simple like “let her finish”, or “Miss May was speaking”. It would have made Mulcair and Trudeau look like the bullies they so clearly are. It would have been smart politics too. Liz put up a credible performance tonight. Yes, of course she is a lunatic; but she was not wrong on C-51. She is a weirdly decent person and that came through.
Harper could easily have called the other boys to order and demonstrated the real leadership his campaign is trying to project. He didn’t.
It was not a fatal error, but it was an opportunity missed.