Welcome to daveberta.ca liveblogging of the 2008 Alberta Leaders’ Debate.
6:28 PM: It looks like the Mr. McLean and Mr. Markusoff from the Edmonton Journal’s Election Notebook will be giving me a run for my money as those two intrepid journalists try their hand at liveblogging the debate.
Game on, Gentlemen!
6:39PM: We need change. Change. Change. Change. I think the leaders have said “change” at least 50 times by this point.
6:41 PM: Short commercial break… thoughts so far? After a short technical glitch, I finally have the debate on fully…
6:44 PM: For some blatantly partisan Tory liveblogging, make sure to check out my friend Blake’s blog at albertatory.
6:45 PM: Kim Trynacity asked a question to Taft about health care. Taft gives a decent answer. Hinman responds, talking about incentives for hospitals? C’est quoi? Innovative ideas… sure. Ed Stelmach is talking about a health care high school…
6:49 PM: Paul Hinman says “I agree with Mr. Mason” and tears a hole in the space time continuum.
6:54 PM: This is a pretty disappointing debate so far…
6:58 PM: I’m watching the CBC coverage. Duane Bratt from Mount Royal College is on talking about the back to back health care questions. I feel like I’m watching TSN… the coverage style is fun…
7:00 PM: Segment #3 is beginning! Let’s get some more questions! “Convince the viewers that you are a leader and a strong leaders for Alberta!” IN 30 SECONDS! GO!
7:01 PM: Kevin Taft: “Charisma never built a hospital or balanced a budget.”
7:02 PM: Stelmach isn’t actually doing that bad. So far, they’ve all been cut off. Brian Mason: “My wife thinks I’m charismatic.”
7:05 PM: Phew! All the leaders think Alberta’s a great place… it’s a pretty unfair question to ask for responses in 30 seconds…
7:08 PM: Graham Thomson to Kevin Taft: Is it time for a policy to slow down the oilsands and Alberta’s heated economy? Taft gives a pretty solid response, need to pace development and respect the environment.
Stelmach is attacking Jean Chretien!!!
7:11 PM: Hinman attacks Stelmach: you’re not listening to industry, you’re listening to your heart. Brian Mason sob story… it’s about the little people, not big oil. Stelmach cares about the little people – Alberta is a beacon of hope.
7:14 PM: As I predicted, Stelmach is doing better than people predicted (which really isn’t saying much considering the expectations were pretty low). He answered the leadership question pretty well, but has stumbled on other questions. Mason has been pretty aggressive. Taft is staying collective and picking his fights, but needs to get in there more.
7:18 PM: Taft: “If you protect the environment, you protect jobs and the economy.” Taft did a pretty solid job answering the question on the environment.
7:20 PM: Stelmach is sticking to his script, but isn’t really animated. He should show more emotion.
Brian Mason is spending most of his time attacking Kevin Taft. Taft fires back at Mason for flip flopping the NDP position on emission caps.
7:29 PM: I just did an interview with Global Edmonton for a mid-debate reaction. Check me out on the 11pm news!
7:34 PM: I’m sitting with a bunch of crazy New Democrats while I watch this (including Sherwood Park NDP candidate Katherine Hay).
7:36 PM: Stelmach: “A ten year plan to get rid of homelessness is ambitious.”
7:46 PM: So far, I think Taft and Mason are doing the best, but in two very different ways. Taft is keeping composed and together with his message. Mason is spending most of his time on the attack. Stelmach in the meanwhile is sitting back as Mason goes after Taft. Stelmach is doing better than I thought he would. He’s staying on message, but remains a mysterious cardboard, he needs to show some more life or any kind of emotion. Not sure there is a clear winner yet…
7:55 PM: Closing remarks!
Brian Mason used his time to attack the Liberals, Conservatives, and Big Corporations.
Stelmach: We believe in free enterprise, everyone else believes in government control.
Hinman: People can spend money better than politicians and bureaucrats. Don’t be fooled by the other parties. Wildrose Alliance is a common sense option.
Taft: Last closing remarks. Time for Alberta to take its place. 37-years is enough of one government. Time for a change.
Best closing line of the night: Mount Royal Poli Sci Prof Duanne Bratt: “well… Ed Stelmach got through the debate.“
More detailed comment and analysis coming soon…