Ontario conservative leader Doug Ford showed up at the only all-Ontario leaders’ debate Monday—book of notes in hand. It was an event designed for sociology students. It revealed more about the participants than they really wanted to be known. Doug Ford displayed his ignorance, Andrea Horwath showed that she was out of her depth, Steven Del Duca fumbled some pithy stuff he had memorized but came out all right by default and Mike Schreiner won the debate by showing he knew how to debate.
We used to think of debating as something you could learn in universities. A good debate was not whether you won or lost but how well you made your case. Frankly, if you want the fast summary: Schreiner won on points, Del Duca got a pass on persistence, Horwath came across as strident and Ford showed viewers his ignorance.
Ford failed. If we made watching the debate a requirement before you could vote, Ford would be the loser he should be. That man does not have the attitude nor the brains for being premier of a province of close to 15 million people. He is incompetent at least and mean spirited at worst.
Andrea Horwath of the new democrats showed why she has gotten nowhere in her dozen or so years at Queen’s Park. She was strident and a harridan as she disobeyed the rules that were there to help her hold her own. The most telling moment was when Steven Del Duca quietly told her that she should see Doug Ford smile whenever she attacked the last liberal government.
Yet, the best words of the show were spoken by Mike Schreiner of the greens. It was when Schreiner referred to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works as “Legislative Poverty.” In a time when close to a million people needed help surviving, Doug Ford cut their funding. When food banks were being forced to shut their doors, Ford attacked the poor and impoverished. He likes picking targets that cannot fight back.
If Mike Schreiner had much of a party behind him, he might have done some good. As it is, we expect that the beneficiaries of the leaders’ debate will be the liberals. They need to get Del Duca and a bunch of new liberals elected. I think this event helped.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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