Yesterday I attended the all Candidates Debate in Calgary East. I'm not going to do an actual report as if it was anything more than a mickey mouse version of the leaders debate. It was however entertaining to watch politics in action and witness the local media coverage and spin.
The only agency to cover the debate was Global Calgary. I'll get to the expected media bias of the actual segment but it seemed to me that the programming editor arranged to have nobody at all see it. I don't really ever watch Global Calgary so I can't really say if it's normally so off-putting.
The big story of the day was the weather. Snow! Somebody snapped a picture of a bird in the snow. Awe. They came back to the story 6 or 7 times over the hour. I wasn't counting. The debate segment was right at the end of the hour. It was right behind a story about a lady who didn't like her sofa. I'm not kidding. Who will pay for the sofa? The lady doesn't like it. It wobbles. It sinks too deep. Wow. Anyone still watching by this point must have been on the phone or in the bathroom.
Finally, the debate coverage! What was covered? A ruckus caused by an unkempt and disheveled heavy set man at the back. Him and a co-ordinator for the seniors hall sitting next to him could not keep quiet during Deepak Obhria's opening remarks. The co-ordinator would let out load moans and sighs while the unkempt man was more vocal.
"My ears hurt!" He was shouting over our MP. "Let him speak." Others were saying. He also said that the Deepak's statements were "pressing him into his seat." He felt like "his chair would soon fall over backwards." Three rows ahead of the man, I felt no such effect.
That was it. Global didn't show any of that. They showed arguing. Its amazing to me that there can be a dispute about being quiet during opening remarks of a debate but there you have it. The controversy according to Global. Nobody is watching anyway.
The rest of the debate was very silly. The various antics of the opposition staff had me tempted to throw a word grenade of my own into the mix, but I still have honour. I'm a partisan. I want to hear the people speak... in between the antics of the desperate partizan's in the room.
The NDP candidate was pretty entertaining. He said voting NDP "is like playing baseball."
"Sometimes you hit a home run. Sometimes you have to take one for the team."
I will hit my home runs for me and I won't be taking one or ten for any NDP team, thanks.
He also said that Jack Layton was from Toronto, making him especially attuned to the needs of Calgary East.
He would pull our troops out of Afghanistan and somehow return to "when Canadians stood like Giants of peacekeeping."
He said he would not stop the Tar sands but impose a Cap and trade carbon tax and raise corporate taxes to 19% . Then he complained about gas prices ans oil subsidies, as if NDP promises would make gasoline cheaper.
You get the feeling the NDP will say anything and knows nothing.
The Liberal lectured the audience on the structure of the UN a if we were in her class and then later called Conservatives "reckless teenagers." Standard stuff. She did get quite a laugh from the crowd when she claimed Liberals would get a majority in this election or the next. It is pretty funny.
The Greens did a lot of talking but nobody is listening.
Deepak Obhria was himself. He is a seasoned campaigner of 14 years. He laid out the familiar Conservative vision of a safe and strong economy. He also warned against the Coalition. On the question of the UN seat Deepak masterfully shot down the Liberal by saying "we will not compromise Canadian values for the sake of a security council seat." Many general assembly votes in the corrupt UN belong to autocratic dictators like Colonel Gaddaffi or Mubarak of Egypt. The Liberal even mentioned Egypt by name.
I'm glad we didn't pander to the likes of them. Liberals want Canada to be a doormat for every misogynistic racist, lets say it: evil, abusive tyrant of the middle east and the world. The UN is an unelected and corrupt body that is showing visible signs of decay. But that's my opinion.
That's what I heard and saw. It was worth attending and I would do it again. I much more appreciate door knocking. Its nice to talk to people one on one in their homes; unscripted and less the phony antics of the desperate parties and their biased media friends. Politics happens on the doorsteps of constituents. The rest is just manipulated media circus and people are tuning out.
Update: Calgary Herald had a similar story. Heckler, personal remarks heat up Calgary East forum