NDP leadership debate: December 4

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Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

dacckon wrote:

Yes, Cullen was much better in French.

Than Dewar, I assume you mean. Yes, though both are improved from early days. Cullen has worked hard on his accent and fluency, though he still makes a lot of grammatical errors. Dewar is better than he was in all areas, but was starting from further back.

Aristotleded24

pookie wrote:
No, I would put Cullen ahead of Dewar even if his grammar is worse, simply because I think Francophones would find Cullen the more engaging speaker.  I don't know Cullen's background, but it would seem that with a bit of targeted training he could become very good indeed.  Dewar likely has a cap on how good he can get.

How do you figure Cullen's grammar was worse? Dewar missed basic items that are first taught to anyone learning French formally.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

caller on CPAC: "Stephen Harper's cat has more charisma than he does". Laughing

During the debate, Cullen had the best line on  a national housing strategy:  "If the government believes building more prisons is a national housing strategy, then the government is not only out of touch, but has lost its mind". Laughing

pookie

I feel like I should like Mulcair better after his performance, but I don't.  Something about his demeanour seemed phony. 

Maybe it's just me.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I thought Mulcair was okay. In the English debate, I scored him second after Nash. Topp is in the middle tier in my opinion.

Idealistic Prag... Idealistic Pragmatist's picture

My verdict: I thought Mulcair and Cullen were the best all-around performers in both debates, though Mulcair, being more bilingual, had the clear advantage. Nash was nearly as good, though she came across as somewhat less engaging than those two.

All of the others also impressed on some fronts, but revealed various weaknesses at the same time.

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:
I'm not necessarily supporting Niki and I have other concerns about her as a poetntial leader - but if there is one thing no reasonable person could attack her for - its her French. I would say that she is almost 100% fluent and that her French abilities are probably one of her biggest strengths as a candidate not a weakness.

No she isn't "almost 100% fluent". She thinks in English and translates (very fast, mind you) into French. For example, she said "Je vous demande pour votre appui." That's not just an error - it's a sign of someone who rarely has occasion to speak French in real life, or doesn't listen much. Not a criticism of Niki. I'm sure she knows her limits and is working on them. But not up to your rating yet.

 

Howard

I think Dewar should drop out too. His French is painful to listen to.

Ashton is the most platitudinous and annoying of all the candidates to me. All she does is say "New Politics" x, "New Politics" y, and talks a heck of a lot for saying nothing of substance. I wish she would drop, but it sounds like people were impressed, with what (her youth?) I do not know.

Howard

theleftyinvestor wrote:

Interesting that more than one person has ranked Dewar's French higher than Cullen's.

The only person who's French was worse than Dewar's was Chisholm's IMO.

carecareer

Mulcair is getting the first press conference.

I think he did very well and was impressive. He is going up in my stock. 

Other folks who impressed. Singh (I had no real expectations) and Ashton.

I really wish that Cullen was not so loud about his bad ideas.

Who did not perform? Topp and Chisholm. Chisholm should drop out.

Hunky_Monkey

pookie wrote:

I feel like I should like Mulcair better after his performance, but I don't.  Something about his demeanour seemed phony. 

Maybe it's just me.

I think he held back because the media narrative out there is that he's an attack dog and doesn't play well with others. If you watch him in debate with Tories and Liberals on panels for example, he's quite "lively". But if he showed any of that in this debate, I could see some of the headlines now...

Funny... Topp was the one who came across the way the media portray Mulcair. Just spoke with a couple of Nash and Dewar supporters. They aren't too fond of him right now.

pookie

Aristotleded24 wrote:

pookie wrote:
No, I would put Cullen ahead of Dewar even if his grammar is worse, simply because I think Francophones would find Cullen the more engaging speaker.  I don't know Cullen's background, but it would seem that with a bit of targeted training he could become very good indeed.  Dewar likely has a cap on how good he can get.

How do you figure Cullen's grammar was worse? Dewar missed basic items that are first taught to anyone learning French formally.

I think Cullen's style masks some of his mistakes, and that Dewar's nerves got the better of him.  But, I'm in no way committed to the idea that Dewar's formal French is better, either.  I prefer Cullen's French, period.

Aristotleded24

Here is my assessment of the shortcomings of some of the candidates, and what can be done.

Chisholm has no French, and I doubt that issue can be rectified.

Dewar may be well advised to do some remedial French.

Saganash needs to practice and become more comfortable in English.

Nash needs to learn more about the challenges facing people outside large urban centres.

Ashton should couple her energy and enthusiasm with some concrete policies, proposals, and accomplishments.

Cullen unfortunately can't go back in time and un-announce the idea of running joint candidates with the Liberals and Greens.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

All the analysts on "Goldhawk" agree the audience in the background was distracting.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Goldhawk on Mulcair's "aggressiveness":  

"(John) Baird has a baseball bat; Mulcair has a sword". Laughing

Newfoundlander_...

I stopped watching a few minutes into the French debate, from what I saw on Twitter people thought that Saganash had the best French with Mulcair and Topp next. What was interesting though was that someone said Mulcair and Topp's French was comparable to Rae's and Ignatieff's. Several people were also saying that Cullen was actually better then both Ashton and Nash. Dewar's French was compared to Harper's several years ago, but he was better the Singh and obviously Chisholm. 

Dewar and Cullen were given props for most promoting their policies. 

Howard

I won't be scoring the French portion of the debate, largely because I tuned out for the middle part of it. Two hours is a long time to watch and a lot of the answers were repeated. The quality of some of the candidates' French was also distracting. One thing that is true is that Saganash is a completely different candidate in French. Very commanding.

Howard

Newfoundlander_Labradorian wrote:

I stopped watching a few minutes into the French debate, from what I saw on Twitter people thought that Saganash had the best French with Mulcair and Topp next. What was interesting though was that someone said Mulcair and Topp's French was comparable to Rae's and Ignatieff's. Several people were also saying that Cullen was actually better then both Ashton and Nash. Dewar's French was compared to Harper's several years ago, but he was better the Singh and obviously Chisholm. 

Dewar and Cullen were given props for most promoting their policies. 

Mulcair had me running to google when he said "clef de voûte." He has an anglo accent that comes out now and again. Topp made grammatical mistakes and stumbled around with his sentences. Topp's accent is great. Something tells me that since he left Québec, Topp hasn't had as much ocassion to use French and so he is more accustomed to thinking in English grammatical structures. Saganash has the best accent and speaks excellent French. The only way in which Cullen's French is better than Ashton or Nash is that he has more of a joual accent, like Layton. 

Newfoundlander_...

Howard wrote:

Newfoundlander_Labradorian wrote:

I stopped watching a few minutes into the French debate, from what I saw on Twitter people thought that Saganash had the best French with Mulcair and Topp next. What was interesting though was that someone said Mulcair and Topp's French was comparable to Rae's and Ignatieff's. Several people were also saying that Cullen was actually better then both Ashton and Nash. Dewar's French was compared to Harper's several years ago, but he was better the Singh and obviously Chisholm. 

Dewar and Cullen were given props for most promoting their policies. 

Mulcair had me running to google when he said "clef de voûte." He has an anglo accent that comes out now and again. Topp made grammatical mistakes and stumbled around with his sentences. Topp's accent is great. Something tells me that since he left Québec, Topp hasn't had as much ocassion to use French and so he is more accustomed to thinking in English grammatical structures. Saganash has the best accent and speaks excellent French. The only way in which Cullen's French is better than Ashton or Nash is that he has more of a joual accent, like Layton. 

Cullen's accent was brought up in tweets.

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

I thought Sagenesh just had a "Jack Layton" moment. He said that he was very excited to be on the stage with the next Prime Minister of Canada, and it just made me think of Jack, and I thought to myself, Jack for sure would have said something so optimistic sounding. Good for him.

Watching Niki Ashton now, she makes me think of Judy. The same kind of mannerism, the same kind of animation, the same kind of enthusiasim, the same kind of attack and lucidity.

You know, I looked at these people and I thought to myself there is no way I was in their league in any way, but I also got the feeling that really meant it when they talked about meeting the needs of all Canadians. I felt a little more positive.

jerrym

I thought Mulcair was best in both English in French. Ashton impressed me. Cullen was excellent in English and acceptable in French. Singh surprised me the most. A good speaker but too focused on Pharmacare and a few other issues. However, he would make a great MP. Topp seems to lack charisma or even the ability to attract attention to his ideas. Nash spoke well but in a monotone and lacks charisma. I've seen her before having to answer questions on the HST in BC issue where she stumbled as badly as any rookie politician, did not seem to know the issue well and spoke in a monotone. I need to see her in more situations where she cannot anticipate the questions or dealing with issues that are not her strong suit. I hope Chisholm learns a little French so he does not embarrass himself again. Saganesh struggled a little in English and seems a little shy for a political leader. Dewar's French is only one step of Chisholm and he did not seem forceful enough is English.

dacckon dacckon's picture

From the media scrum, Chisholm isn't budging. He's got to realize he's taking up space.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I felt much the same way. I must say Niki Ashton did much better than I expected - I have her third overall in the English debate, behind Nash and Mulcair.

Who won the French debate???

Bärlüer

Note to candidates (at least three of them, if not more, made that mistake): en français, on n'adresse pas des problèmes. On se penche sur ces problèmes, on s'y attaque, on les règle, si tout va bien... Apologies for this somewhat trivial remark, but hearing this construction 5 or 6 times was a little grating.

Of the various assessments, the following one made by dacckon is the one that most closely mirrors mine:

dacckon wrote:

Mulcair was calm and detailed

Nash performed the best in the English Debate

Topp did fantastic in French, I felt that he recovered a bit from the pointless attack on Dewar. He should have realized the time limit doesn't allow for back and forth.

Chisholm should drop ASAP

Singh seems like a single issue candidate. He's more of a cabinet minister than a prime minister

Saganash didn't perform as well as I expected. Perhaps he should stay in the race and we can see if he improves.

Dewar lacked in French.

Ashton has potential, she did very well.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

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