Sunday, December 18, 2005

Paul Wells on why the debates sucked more than a Hoover re-engineered by Lamborghini

What nobody in Canada said last night

"Gee, now that I've watched four men for two hours discussing the future of a country that spans a continent, I sure hope the reporters in Vancouver can interrogate them about the debate format."

. . . Rank the following questions in order of their importance to actual people, as Canadians head to the polls:
• Quebec, in or out? • Is my job safe? • Can my children hope to do something more interesting than promptly delivering oil to China, without having to move to China? • Lecterns or wireless microphones? • Why is the second-largest country in the world one of the hardest to travel in with any speed and efficiency? Does that maybe hurt our shot at prosperity? • Vancouver's downtown East side: any ideas? • Should the candidate look at the camera or the moderator?
If you picked the fourth and seventh questions as the ones that get at the tippy-top issues, then you absolutely have what it takes to make it in the high-stakes world of professional journalism. As long as you can also learn how to misread a poll.

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