Thursday, October 2, 2008

Follow Thine Brain or Thine Heart? Debates in the Canadian and American Elections

Elections are upon North America (to the exclusion of Mexico) and Canadians are at a crossroads tonight! A choice must be made and it appears that one of these debates will be subject to TiVo while the other debate will be greeted live with great 'hilarity'.

Follow Thine Brain?
In the picturesque capital of Ottawa, the five leaders of Canada's major political parties will face off as they vie for Prime Ministerialship of the nation. Leader of the Green party, Elizabeth May, with roughly 10% of national support, managed to secure herself a seat at the very last moment in response to a public outcry. Subsequently, May is being identified by the press as the wild card of this year's federal election. She will be the first leader to speak and the first to pose questions opposite current Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, Stephen Harper, leader of the Liberal Party, Stéphane Dion, leader of the Bloc Québécois, Gilles Duceppe, and leader of the New Democratic Party, Jack Layton. Topics are likely to include the economy, young offenders, and culture and the arts. The debate will be moderated by the witty and astute host of TVOntario's The Agenda, Steve Paikin.

Will the left unite and successfully usher in a progressive government for 2009, or will Harper remain fortunate with Liberals, Bloc, New Democrats, and Greens divided enough to preserve a Conservative office into the new year? Will non-Anglophone Dion maintain the momentum he managed to generate for himself during last night's French-language debate? Will May pull any more rabbits out of her biodegradable hat?

As a proud and politically-inclined Canadian with a longstanding commitment to the welfare of Canada and its peoples, it seems obvious that tonight's debate cannot be missed. However, a second most sensational and possibly more amusing debate promises to reach us from down south.

Or Follow Thine Heart?
Candidates for the vice-presidency of the Democratic and Republican parties, Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, respectively speaking, meet in St. Louis, Missouri, to debate the economy, health care, social security, and war, as their leaders vie for the White House. At first, Palin reached celebrity overnight. Suburbanites, hockey moms, and Republicans responded to her candidacy with great alacrity. Replicas of Palin's famously photographed eyeglasses were soon sold out across the country.

However, Palin's disastrous interviews with news anchor Katie Couric on CBS and satirical depictions of her on Saturday Night Live quickly transported Palin from the shallow to the deep end. She exhibited grave difficulty keeping herself afloat on topics of foreign policy and the economy. Since Biden has remained fairly unobserved by the media, it might be safe to assume that most of the viewers tuning in to tonight's debate are waiting anxiously for Palin's next step (be it backward or forward).

**images courtesy of


Anonymous said...

hahahah. cannot wait for tonight's debate. is gonna be entertainment at it's finest.
a flight to st. louis? $225
a ticket to the debate? $45
palin on stage? priceless

I am a global citizen said...

my reflections on the debate?

palin didn't sink, nor did she swim. she kinda' floated. most of what she said was not really about anything. she spurted out a lot of colloquial crap mixed with small town fizz: we gotta' ramp it up, trials and tribulations, god darn it, for heavenly sakes ma'am, can i call you joe?

biden was right on the money. he clearly has the history, the corporate memory, the experience, the confidence, the comfort...he was condescending nor defensive in any way because, frankly speaking, he had no reason to be. he was demonstrably frustrated with the state of affairs in washington and was appealing to Americans to usher in much needed change.

headlines post-debate tended to focus inordinately on palin's rformance rather than biden, which is no different than the way coverage was pre-debate; perplexing and rather unbalanced, i would suggest.

Anonymous said...

Twice in a row palin has foreshaddowed a fair to mediocre performance with some expectation lowering of monumental proportions. Her totally unknown quality and paucity of public policy positions lowered expectations, and then she read a speech well. The debate was preceeded by some amazingly terrible interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, so when she came out and didn't totally flub the event, partisans declared it a success. I think the cynicism of american politics, reflected in the anti-intellectualism of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin is as breath taking as it is galling.

Teena in Toronto said...

I'm soooooooooo not political and haven't paid any attention to either election.

I am a global citizen said...

hey anonymous. i agree with you that critics are more reacting to palin's less than disasterous speech opposite biden as compared with her suicidal appearances on CBS, rather than judging the merit of palin's speech in and of itself.

I am a global citizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I am a global citizen said...

Taken from a news article published on

With both Canadian and U.S. debates going on last week, Canadians searched for Sarah Palin’s name as much as for all of the other candidates, American or Canadian, combined.

“Sarah Palin bikini” became a Breakout query last week, as did “Sarah Palin beauty pageant.”

Searches for "Palin-Biden debate” and “Sarah Palin interview” were both searched more last week. We’ll even settle for an imitation: “Tina Fey as Sarah Palin” was a Breakout term. We're starting to wonder: is Canada just infatuated with the Governor, or are we stalking her?

More stats at: