Well, I told you there would be no knock-out punches at tonight’s KDN-CBC-sponsored election forum, but it was a whole lot of fun and even somewhat informative. Though there were no knockouts, I proclaim the winner by majority decision, on points, Terry Lake.
Here are a few highlights of the evening:
- Terry Lake was easily the best debater, which was to be expected given his experience and natural speaking ability.
- Tom Friedman was also strong, starting very aggressively but fading a little in the home stretch.
- Peter Sharp’s Best Moment came when he used his previous experience on the regional health board to slam the all talk-little action Liberal record on over-crowding at RIH.
- Kathy Kendall showed she can be articulate but she really does need to study up on the issues.
- The always entertaining and often incomprehensible Brian Alexander got in some good one-liners, such as “I don’t think Terry, as environment minister, knows what an environment is.”
- The Twitter feed was a great addition, though I found myself often paying more attention to the tweets on screen than the candidates on stage.
- Thank you, Donovan Cavers, for shutting up Lake campaigner Emile Scheffel (who believes, I’m sure, that the Liberals are 100-percent responsible for the sun rising each morning) when Scheffel was dominating the Twitter debate. After an hour and 20 minutes of this, Cavers tweeted a polite request that Scheffel desist, and he did.
- Lake’s best zinger totally shut down Dr. Jill Calder of Kamloops Physicians For a Healthy Environment, who demanded a yes or no answer to a loaded question about Ajax. “You wouldn’t do that to your patients,” said Lake. And he impressed with his defence of the Liberal handling of the Pacific Carbon Trust issue.
- Kendall scored high on the applause meter for insisting that the Ajax assessment process needs to be better.
- Todd Stone, as expected, took the opportunity to pin Friedman on his comment a few days ago waffling on the RIH master plan.
- Tweeter Jeremy Reid summed things up quite nicely with, “Lively debate, few young people, partisan twitter feed, & no snacks.”
- Several tweeters called Stone on his use of the slogan-like phrase “continue the momentum,” pointing out that Lake’s campaign slogan was “maintain the momentum” when he ran for mayor.
- Ajax was clearly the big issue, with health care a close second.
- Co-moderators Tim Shoults of The Daily News and Doug Herbert of CBC did a great job, keeping candidates and audience on point and on time.
- Ed Klop, the Conservative candidate in Kamloops-North Thompson followed a spotty performance with a good close, using a “We can’t please all of the people all of the time” theme.
- Shoults wins the Best Closing Remarks award as he thanked the candidates for the sacrifices they make in order to seek office.
- Up until Shoults’ comments, I was leaning toward giving the Best Closing Remarks trophy to Alexander for his good cop-bad cop routine, and for plaintively asking the Liberal and NDP contingents in the audience, “Are you guys paid or what?”