A tale of two debates

By David F. Rooney

Were you one of those who watched Monday night’s leaders’ debate? What did you think?

Personally, I thought Premier Christy Clark held her own, while NDP Leader Adrian Dix seemed a little wooden. As for BC Conservative John Cummins, aide from repeatedly saying “the fact of the matter,” he didn’t contribute much to the debate. And Green Leader Jane Sterk? She was eloquent and forthright but won’t make set the electorate on fire.

In fact, none of the leaders seemed to have the royal jelly that we associate with charismatic leadership.

But what do I know? A post-debate poll in the Vancouver Sun says most people who responded to the televised event thought the premier was the clear winner:

  1. Christy Clark won debate (68.59% 10,314 votes)
  2. Adrian Dix won (21.91% 3,295 votes)
  3. Jane Sterk won (2.04% 307 votes)
  4. John Cummins won (1.75% 263 votes)
  5. No one won (5.71% 859 votes)

If you could score last week’s Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce’s All-Candidates Debate the outcome between the NDP’s Norm Macdonald and BC Liberal challenger Doug Clovechok was probably closer. It was certainly a nicer and more quintessentially Canadian debate with none of the interruptions and hyper-rude over-talking that characterized portions of the televised leaders’ debate.

Click here to view the opening statements from the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce’s All-Candidates Debate.

Both Clovechok and Macdonald were clear and convincing communicators and it was evident to everyone present that they were the main contenders, while BC Conservative Earl Olsen and Green Party candidate Laurel Ralston were just along for the ride.  That’s not a put down. They contributed to the debate and Ralston certainly made a lot of people smile but they’re not going to win and they know it. At best they’ll be spoilers, with Olsen drawing votes away from Clovechok and Ralston siphoning some away from Macdonald.

Naturally, the only poll that matters is the one on May 14, but perhaps you’ll share your thoughts with us by taking our own poll.

If you enjoy political surveys try taking the CBC’s online Compass survey.