The Great Debate that Wasn’t.

Photo Courtesy of CBC

After all that hype, nothing but two guys trying to outshout each other. I’d have to say that Wilkinson was by far the ruder of the two. Horgan had to fight to get a word in, so he gets points for that.

I think Wilkinson made points by asking questions Horgan wouldn’t answer. He could have. The answers are “two MLAs for DMP and (probably) twelve for a six-riding MMP region.” That’s it. I don’t understand Horgan’s strategy. He certainly didn’t answer the desire of many undecided voters as to what kind of jalopy they’re buying, and the Liberals will capitalize on that in the next few days.

I think Horgan should have taken 30 seconds to explain to the voters why he wasn’t answering those questions. The answers were in the information given out by the CBC before the debate, they’re in the Elections BC Voters Guide, and they’re in every Fairvote BC printout and handout.

Both contestants stayed to their line, neither answered the other’s questions, so even points there.

I can’t remember any of the questions Horgan asked, but I can remember some of Wilkinson’s, so points to him for that.

Horgan certainly came across as a better example of a Pro Rep kind of leader, so points to him. He was the only one that took control of the debate and made his opponent shut up. Lots of points for that. Wilkinson came across as a typical FPTP leader, so that will give him points with his party faithful, but it won’t do him any good with the important undecideds, so he’ll lose votes because of it.

The Bottom Line

It all depends on what the commentators choose to show the general public who didn’t watch the debate, and the spin both sides put on it.

In the eyes of the Liberals, Wilkinson kicked butt, because they have no idea what Horgan is talking about. Wilkinson did what he went there to do, just like in any other FPTP event, which is to look good to his 40% of the electorate. However, this is not an election, and 60% of the voters aren’t so impressed. It remains to be seen whether the Liberals have dominated the discussion enough that people really think their questions are valid.

I was disappointed in the debate, disappointed that the moderators didn’t take more control, difficult though that would have been.

So I’d call it a draw. Both leaders gave a great demonstration of what a good leader looks like in their respective systems. Horgan came across as a better leader and a better person, but Wilkinson came across as exactly who the Liberals want for their confrontational, FPTP style of politics. Should we actually get Pro Rep system, they’d be well advised to get rid of him.




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