kingston & the islands' NDP Blog

Thursday, December 15, 2005

After the first debate...

Ce soir, on a eu le premier débat des chefs de la campagne électorale, en français. Jack Layton, Stephen Harper, Gilles Duceppe and Paul Martin debated in French for two hours. The new debate format kept things civil: the leaders responded, one at a time, to questions from average Canadians. (The questions had been chosen by the CBC staff from over 10,000 questions submitted by Canadians.) Some of the questions seemed to have been written to play right to NDP strengths. Pierre Plourde of Surrey, B.C. wanted to know what the government could do to help his family afford francophone child care at $35/day. Layton pointed out that the Liberals have been promising to move on national child care for 12 years and only got going on this priority when forced to work with the NDP. If you missed it, Layton announced the NDP's child care plan just two days ago. Another question addressed homelessness & social housing, and another asked about aboriginal standards of living -- two of the main planks in the NDP platform. A question from Laurent Lacoquelle of Montréal asked Harper specifically what he would do if his kids were gay. Harper looked pretty uncomfortable with this question. Of course, the question and its followup allowed Layton, whose support for the queer community has been unswerving, to shine. If you missed the debate, cbc.ca's blow-by-blow commentary is here et, chez Radio-Canada, ici.

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