SamuelOlivier - agree that Singh has some good debating skills. He may be a two trick pony, but he did seem to expand his rhetoric today. This was a follow up of an earlier attack on Topp in that Topp has not thought through his platform and his actions could have unintended consequences - and quoting the page number and everything made Singh look more knowledgeable than Topp. Also, Singh managed to bring in indirectly his support for a woman's right to choose and I liked his line about fiscal conservatives being extinct.
Nash DID NOT ANSWER ANYTHING STRAIGHT.
Ashton had a rocking outro! Everything else was ok.
The one good point I liked from Nash is her dig at the Tories is that she has to look at the books before she can pin things down because she needs to know how much money is left.
I liked Ashton's closing, reminded me of Anonymous - we do not forgive, we do not forget - how Harper has treated the West. It was very powerful.
Ashton took on Mulcair very directly, in an almost hostile tone.
Singh made a huge issue out of his disagreement with Topp.
Mulcair's line about having to kick back against the old slogans during the last campaign was new to me. -snip-- Either that, or Mulcair making it clear that his new politics is a lot newer than Ashton's, calling her stuck in the 1930s or whatever it was he said. I think someone has finally told him her dad was the left-wing candidate for the Manitoba leadership and he's written her off. Fascinating!
Maybe not the 30's. Mulcair definitely used his sword with precision against Ashton there - note they were talking rhetoric rather than policy - that Ashton was using the rhetoric of the past but in a way that made Ashton look both old fashioned and like a little girl. There was a slight but barely noticeable patronizing tone - not enough to make Mulcair look like he was putting down youth but just enough to make Ashton look like a little girl. Mulcair did manage to maintain the gentle seeming demeanour except once when he was talking about the cut through nature of Quebec Politics where you saw a "bring it on" viciousness in him, but only for a second.
DSloth also had a good point about Ashton having to go after Mulcair more directly to show that she wasn't about to step down and throw her supporters behind him - because she was staying in the race. And, win or lose in an exchange against Mulcair, Ashton will get that point across. Thus, even if Mulcair tears her to threads, it helps Ashton put that rumour to rest. Ergo, the whole thing wasn't as devastating as it otherwise would have been.
Topp did the old Tory Question Period tactic "you didn't read it / you don't know what you are talking about" like last time, but Singh seemed armed with the exact section. I think that Singh won that bout because he did look like he knew what he was talking about, that Topp did not think things out, and promoted his feminism credentials.
Dewar seemed to handle the Angus question better this time. Personally, I think that it is nothing about Charlie Angus personally, but an attack of the sort that a Leader will have to face from an opposition that spins things - last time Charlie Angus was used to show that Dewar was not the feminist he claimed to be or that he did not respect Quebec, this time Charlie Angus was used to make Dewar appear Ontario centric in Western Canada. Dewar was a bit more direct, when I say stay tuned, I mean stay tuned and not judge before you have the details (or something to that effect). Dewar did turn it around as his questioner (forget who) was willing to make inaccurate generalizations based on incomplete information. That is one tactic that the Tories tend to do is take something trivial and blow it out of proportion and Dewar looked like a deer in the headlights last time and deflected it with a proper amount of indignation this time.
I haven't seen it, but if she was more pointed with Mulcair, its because she's trying to kill the rumours. Mulcair knows who her dad is and plenty of left wing people have endorsed him.
Ok, Mulcair knows who Ashton's dad is. What does Mulcair know about Steve Ashton and does he make a distinction between daughter and father politically. Is Nikki cutti Steve (ie mini-me) in Mulcair's mind? If so, then Nikki will have to decide how much of her political pedigree she will embrace and how much she will distinguish herself from it to be seen as her own person.
Not sure it was anyone's best debate but the roomfull of Mulcair supporters I watched it with were all happy. ...
We mostly thought Ashton's challenge to Tom was misplayed - too angry and a strange attack from the "new politics" proponent as others have noted. ...
Martin and Nathan both bloodied Topp, especially Cullen's sally against negative campaigning. Dewar had his best debate, although that is an improvement from a low standard.
Agree that Dewar did a bit better than usual and that Topp was bloodied (though my Mom seemed to think Topp did really well - that he looked more confident and like a statesman and less like a bobble-head).
Nicky, that the attack seemed strange from Ashton, maybe she felt that letting Mulcair draw a bit of blood worked towards the big picture and it wasn't about showing that she can hold her own with Mulcair. Considering the big blow Ashton took, she seemed relatively unflustered and actually even more confident afterwards. Mulcair's strength IS his ability to draw blood and he is widely thought to be able to do it better than anyone. Mulcair did stress being a team player but was also challenged on that - so he knows that is what he has to work on. Mulcair also scored points by mentioning First Nations, Metis and Inuit especially since Louis Riel day was Monday - which brings me to your other point: There did seem to be either quite a few Mulcair supporters or people who liked what he said. The location is close enough to St. Boniface ... I wonder ...
For some reason, Mulcair's tie caught my attention - there was something very prairie about it. My Mom pointed out that during the previous debate that his tie matched the Quebec flag.