Sunday, May 03, 2009

Carole James a clear winner, Gordon Campbell on defensive, chippy at times, Jane Sterk mostly on sidelines in rush job debate

That was way too fast with way too little content or debate!

The BC leaders debate zoomed by in a short hour, no doubt disappointing those like me who wanted a more fullsome discussion of key provincial election items.

NDP leader Carole James was aggressive and effective in going after BC Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell's failings, clearly the overall winner.

Campbell was often chippy with James in his defence, clearly showing she had got under his skin.

And Campbell likely turned off more than a few women voters and others when he used condescending, arrogant language more than once in response to James.

As CTV's Jim Beatty reported right after the debate "a groan went up" in the media room when Campbell said to James: "I know it's a big job" to be premier - definitely a low moment.

But while James clearly won the debate, Campbell was defensive but not defeated. He appealed clearly to small and large business several times on his strong suit - the economy.

And James twice failed to hold Campbell to account for the BC Rail/Basi-Virk corruption case, first running out of time with a question and later throwing a softball question: "What would you do differently?" which Campbell simply ignored.

Nor did Patrick Kinsella's name come up, despite his high profile problems as the former 2001 and 2o05 BC Liberal campaign co-chair who was paid $297,000 by BC Rail for "business advice" during the period that the railway was sold to CN and beyond.

Jane Sterk at one point asked whether she was even there and wound up her final appeal with a strangely worded " The Green Party is a legitimate third choice" - hmmm, shouldn't that be first choice?

But she did have some moments where she made points and just showing up in the debate can only help her public profile.

But the big losers were BC voters - deprived of a full-length, prime time TV debate that answered a lot more questions about who should lead this province.

UPDATE - Meanwhile, not one of BC's three CanWest Global newspapers has headlined today's debate in their online editions late this evening.

The Vancouver Sun top story - the two day old news about two Abbotsford teens being killed.

The Province top item - a call for a backcountry snowmobile ban.

The Victoria Times-Colonist - a story about using cellphones while driving.

Ironically, the CanWest Global National Post is the only paper to feature the debate, including a photo, as it's top story, as did the Globe and Mail - not a CanWest newspaper.

Only in BC you say? Pity.



Anonymous said...

When Campbell said that being premier was a big job, he obviously meant that only a man could do it. He lost the votes of thousands when he showed just how arrogant he was.

Anonymous said...

Carole James a clear winner ? Yes and no. Ipsos Reid just reported a slight edge to James but more importantly when they asked who looked most like a Premier and leader of BC Campbell came out decisively ahead of Carole James.

I didn’t think Campbell did very well at all; Sterk was horrible and by that standard I would also agree that James won. Unfortunately James was hugely negative and spent too much time attacking Campbell. Nobody likes a negative person and James was too negative. I expect this is why Campbell won the who looks most like a leader question from Ipsos-Reid.

I also though the Global format was biased. Too often Carole James got cut off and that made her look bad. Also the Camera angles always seemed to favour Campbell. Did anyone else notice in the Global news highlights they made a point of showing the final comments where Campbell nuked James ?

On the whole that was the worst TV debate I have watched. Campbell did better than he did in 2005 but I give a slight edge to James in the debate performance; but I submit that came at the expense of looking like a leader.

I actually though the CKNW Radio debate was far superior.

DPL said...

Poor Gordo had to work his way through university just like lots of others. But student grants were in place then and they went away after he got elected. He bragged about new secondary education seats but didn't mention they came into being by changing a few colleges,into universities. The newspapers have articles about the high student loans but Gordo says 60 percent of students graduate with no student loans The guy twists numbers.

Too short a time to actually get a decent answer across. The clock in the corner of the screen looked sort of like seconds ticking down while in the penalty box, His all encompassing hand waving are a turn off. Can't wait to hear what Keith Baldry will have to say.

Anonymous said...

Campbell was offensive and demeaning towards women. His arrogance will cost him many female votes this election!

Jeff Barkley said...

I also thought Campbell came off as arrogant and dismissive of James because she was a woman. Not exactly a turn-on for women watching, i'd guess. His non-answers on BC Rail show the real situation. He is not willing to defend his own actions, he just ignores the questions, because, even he doesn't believe they are justified by logic or the well being of British Columbia. He may as well have said "yes, I'm guilty of breach of trust" and gotten it over with, at least in my opinion.

James remained professional and civilized the entire time. She controlled the debate as much as anyone could, with the restictive guidelines and time allocations. I haven't heard any discussion about the way James was able to state facts, about the Liberal's wage increases. The NDP voted against the increase and when it was passed by Gordon Campbell and the Liberals, they began donating their share to charity. Where are the crys of "they're all the same!" now?

All in all, it was entertaining, but much too short. Thanks to Sean Holman for providing an excellent live-blog and thanks to Bill and the others for joining him!

Anonymous said...

We got what was to be expected tonight from the two party leaders and the representative from eco-Disneyland.

James won by not coming off as a crazed socialist or a shrill bitch.

Campbell lost because he strayed from his Communication Department's script and behaved for real.

Thus BC was treated to a sociopathic Premier who should be running the Bates Motel in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

Sadly, will this change anything on election night I doubt it, since Asper, Skulsky and the rest of the CanWest plutocrats have cooked the books . . . "WE ONLY CHEAT WHEN WE CAN'T WIN" . . . isn't that right Mr. Attorney General?!


Anonymous said...

Watch Gordo's spin-meister's try to portry him as a consensus builder, and Carol James as a divider.

The winning issue?: corruption, corruption, corruption.

Jeff Barkley said...

Lol, thank-you for that :)

"Thus BC was treated to a sociopathic Premier who should be running the Bates Motel in an Alfred Hitchcock movie."

Ok, people, think back....waaaay back, to the debate with Rita Johnson. Did Campbell head down that "I'm a hateful, small, person" road tonight?

The only thing that has ever kept Gordon Campbell in power was the press, and still is...but i'm hoping for that to be changed by great blogs like this! Thanks to Bill and others for helping...

Otis Krayola said...

Three things to add to the mostly excellent points already raised:

- Did anyone else notice the unfortunate camera angles? The clear focus was to be static in front of the speaker, keeping the top of the lectern at the bottom of the screen, and including all of the speaker's body above that. But, because of their relative height, Sterk looked as though she was snacking on the mic. Carole James came off somewhat better, with her hands visible and expressive. But she was at a disadvantage because of Gordo's relative height, which gave him a profile from about the bottom of his ribcage up. He came across as much more the whole person.

Same static camera, same parameters, but, given their differing heights, a real disadvantage when saddled with identical lectern height.

- Carole James gave a command performance. Warm, concerned, committed, and sincere. She only fell below this threshold when she moved her focus away from the camera - when her gaze turned toward Campbell or the moderator. Those (fleeting) seconds made her look less believeable.

- I'm always on the lookout for media bias and I have to say that Russ Froese aquitted himself pretty well. Unfortunately for him, at the very end of the telecast, he walked down the row of debaters, shaking hands with each in turn.

Am I the only one who noticed, when he came (finally) to Gordo, that he, first, shook Campbell firmly by the hand, and then reversed his grip into the iconic Revolutionary Drug Brothers, full-on, overhand Solidarity Shake?

Not that we ever believed in it, but so much for Objectivity, eh?

Norm Farrell said...

The official line may say that the economy is Campbell's strong suit but that does not stand up to scrutiny, unless you are one of the favored few. In 2008, BC's economy performed badly - worse than 8 other provinces. Even in the previous years of growth, poverty did not reduce. The wealthy and upper middle classes gained substantially. Senior civil servants gained substantially. Poor people and post secondary students became relatively more impoveished.

Anonymous said...

By next Tuesday "Norman Bates" will be back in the Premier's office but with a few less fart-catchers on his Beautiful BC Team.

But our sociopathic premier may not enjoy his 3rd term as much as he and his CanWest/Global cabal think since BASIGATE may finally hit the courts.

Imagine our beloved premier on the witness stand where Wally Oppal, Dennis Skulsky and Bill Good won't be there to protect him.


DPL said...

Read Paul wilcox today where he writes
"Gordon Campbell sounded a little defensive and, I have to say, looked a little crazy

Anonymous said...

I hear our beloved fearless leader premier had to be evacuated tonight from his personal interview with CanWest/Global's Miro the BALKAN BUTT-KISSER when a woman with a gun was seen lurking near by.

A lost opportunity on both of them!


Mrs BC Voter said...

Forgive me, I realize this is impolite, but Campbell sounded like an insecure, over-compensating twit!

Anonymous said...

What gets me is the jobless rate in this province is escalation quite rapidly and the MSM is not reporting a thing on it. I have no idea why I even watch Global News at night. Just a bad habit I guess.

Always enjoy your take Bill.

Patrick Bell (not the MLA)

Anonymous said...

Patrick, I too was stuck in a rut and watched Global news every night. If you question why you watch it, then you are halfway there to being able to kick the habit! Just begin to tell yourself that you are a truthseeker. You no longer wish to hear biased stories and fluff pieces. Go far a walk instead.

I now get my news from CBC and am much more informed on real issues.

Good Luck

PS I also gave up CKNW, as I realized it was a form of self inflicted torture to listen to it.

kootcoot said...

Otis Krayola , great points re: camera angles and such. Kinda like the photo accompanying the Vancouver Stun main coverage of the debate, featuring an image that can only be the result of some minion of the Public Affairs Bureau spending hours with PhotoShop in the vain attempt to make King Gord look good - no matter where he had to place the debaters, compared to where they actually were.

"And Campbell likely turned off more than a few women voters and others when he used condescending, arrogant language more than once in response to James"However I read an elucidating comment over at Pacific Gazette or somewhere where one of those fearless protectors and producers of the truth in its most perfectly massaged version from PAB explains that Carole James is the "racist and sexist" in this campaign, because of her policies to ecourage women and other minority candidates to run.

I have my own issues with this policy, but rampaging racist sexism it is not! Indeed it is little more than an attempt to correct the current racist sexist model or only old greedy white guys in suits need apply - especially to be one of Gordon Campbull's "for decoration only" back-bencher or cabinet minister robots!

Did anybody mention fence-posts with hair?

As to Russ Froese though except for the real scary moments for Gord, when Russ swooped in to pull Gord's chestnuts out of the fire (like right after Carole asked about BC Rail the first time), he generally did at least as non-biased of a job as we would have expected from say - the leader of the B.C. Federation of Labor, tho the Fed actually does represent more British Columbians than Russ' masters, or maybe not, if Gord has outsourced or caused the collapse of enough jobs for actual working people.

Soon an advocate for the poor will probably be able to speak for the vast majority, if the Green Lord of Kitsilanto gets four more years.

Finally, did the anon-o-mouse who suggested

" Nobody likes a negative person and James was too negative. I expect this is why Campbell won the who looks most like a leader question from Ipsos-Reid."ever consider that for the next eight days (hopefully that is all) King Campbull IS the leader?

Anonymous said...

Hehehe I always get happy when reading some of these comments. It just reminds how important it is for the Liberals to win again.

Anyone else see the recent Environics poll?

Sure you did, but you'll never admit it....

The best part? "Do you think the province is on the right track?" 51% of people agreed we are going strong.

Anonymous said...