Every night on The National they run the standard four stories covering the party leaders’ tours across the country for this General Election. Here are my impressions after Day One:
- Stephen Harper — Surprisingly relaxed and looking a lot less like a wax museum figure than he usually does; he’s dressing better too. Performed better than I expected, and is doing a good job at covering up the secret “lets ship all the poor people to Australia” agenda that others report him to have. 6/10
- Paul Martin — That blue checked shirt took 10 years off him. Also looked relaxed, but the whole “Stephen Harper is the anti-Christ” approach is already wearing thin, and I predict it will backfire because it makes Harper more credible, not less. The “let’s visit the greenhouse and help the little children plant seeds” was over the top. 5/10
- Gilles Duceppe — He’s not running for the top job, so he can be more relaxed than the other guys. He used to feel a lot like a high school vice principal; he’s a lot friendlier now, more like a that socialist friend of your parents who used to drop by from time to time. 8/10
- Jack Layton — The green hues in the backdrop are nice. The prancing through Chinatown was a little too composed and artificial. The speech was well executed: he got all the righteous indignation out of his system before the campaign, and now he looks like the calm alternative to the warring Harper and Martin. Performed better than I expected. 7/10
Where was the Green Party, by the way? If they’re running a candidate in every riding, don’t they deserve equal treatment? The existing setup means the CBC is an agent of status quo preservation.