Like many others around the country on Thursday night I decided to take in the federal leaders’ debate.
What I saw and heard was two hours of people who want to be the Prime Minister of Canada bickering back and forth about who did what and how or who would do any number of terrible things if they were elected. There were a lot of unnecessary interjections, a lot of accusation about being dishonest and a lot of references to past government actions, both provincial and federal for as much sense as that makes.
What I didn’t hear was a lot of passion, monotone delivery would be a more than accurate description, or firm commitments and promises about what the different parties would bring to Parliament or prioritize for the next four years.
Pundits and people across the country were trying to pick a winner – good luck with that. Nobody stood out, nobody hit a home run and the whole thing was fairly uninspired.
Fortunately for the party leaders, this first debate means absolutely nothing. For all intents and purposes it could have been a question period in the House of Commons for all the good it did.
That may sound harsh, but the reality is that people will have completely forgotten about all of the accusations and all of the barbs exchanged during Thursday night’s debate by the time they head to the polls. After all, when this paper comes out there will be more than 60 days between now and the Oct. 19 vote.
Between now and then more important things will grab the nation’s attention before attention is brought back to the campaign trail.
Make no mistake about it, this is going to be a long and extremely tedious election campaign.
Hopefully this will be something future leaders can learn from and a 70-plus day campaign will never be seen again.