Thursday, April 21, 2011

All-Candidates Debate in Simcoe—Grey

All Candidates Meeting, Simcoe—Grey, Colingwood, ON, 19 April 2011

via Bayshorebroadcasting

Update {21 April 2011 6:33ET}:: MsMacpherson [CBC YourTakevideos from April 19th. Collingwood debate added.

The above soundbites summarize the Simcoe—Grey all-candidates debate from Tuesday in Colingwood. The debate was packed to the rafters and people were turned away. Liberal candidate Alex Smardenka caught some flak for calling Conservative candidate an out-of-touch parachuted in rich doctor from Toronto, although there was a smattering of applause. the NDP's Katy Austin wanted to shift the focus away from character and towards the gap between rich and poor. Here's a video from MsMacpherson of the NDP's Katy Austin on Conservative-style tax cuts {MsMacPherson noted Kellie Leitch's reaction. Leitch is on Austin's right}::

Here's a more detailed overview of the debate. Catch-22 has a lively discussion on strategic voting for the riding.

The Simcoe—Grey race is swirled in controversy since the incumbent, Helena Guergis, was turfed from the Conservative caucus by Harper. The Conservatives are running a candidate, Kellie Leitch, which runs the risk of splitting the conservative vote.

Kellie Leitch
I think what's disheartening is how Kellie Leitch is simply parroting Harper with a "stay the course message". Throwing stones at the "coalition" that didn't support a budget that would supposedly benefit all Canadians didn't get much traction and got her booed. with Leitch's talking points and a catty dig at Guergis::

More on Conservative tax cutting and coalition bashing::

Leitch is a surgeon with an MBA and she's communicating with tired talking points? Speaking of communicating, there was a minor dustup earlier in the year when she thought she had the endorsement of the Mayor of Wasaga Beach, Cal Patterson. Allegations of forgery were thrown around until Leitch's office copped to a "misinderstanding".

Helena Guergis
Helena is the poster child for cautionary tales in Stephen Harper's Conservative caucus. A caucus where the Health minister, Leona Aglukkaq, skips out on the Canadian Medical Association meeting to accompany Harper at a Churchill, MB airport to announce upgrades. Well, after Helena's announcement of her being booted from caucus despite a lack of evidence, it appears public opinion is on her side. About half of Canadians surveyed think she got the shaft, while 30% approve of Harper's behaviour and 21% were unsure. I think an important question is one Harper is ducking. What happens if he doesn't get a majority? If Conservatives don't see a majority as likely, voting for Guergis sends a message to the party, while still voting small "c" conservative. If Harper goes, ostensibly Guergis can get back into caucus. I think by not articulating good reasons for turfing Guergis, Harper needlessly opens himself up to second-guessing. Guergis did, after all, reject Harper's "in and out" scheme, which should count for something.

Here's Guergis sounding like a Progressive Conservative::

There's another debate tonight at Banting Memorial High School in Alliston at 7:00 p.m. [map]

Twitterversion:: [blog-updated] Kellie Leitch booed at all-candidates meeting in Simcoe—Grey for parroting Harper talking points. #cdnpoli #elxn41 @Prof_K

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