So I watched the leader's debate tonight with leaders of four of Alberta's largest parties go at it for an hour and a half. There was Stelmach for the conservatives, Taft for the Liberals, Mason for the NDP, and some other guy for the Wild Rose Alliance (err ... yeah). It has been awhile since I attempted to watch anything like this on TV before, but I figured since I was home I should try and watch it so I could make an informed vote come election day. Well. After sitting through that garbage, I really don't know who to vote for. If anything, the entire thing made me feel an ever increasing disdain of politicians in general. Not one of the candidates made me feel like they knew what the were talking about. A couple of notes:
- Kevin Taft made a couple of comments about infrastructure that included the words "we have the cash, let's spend it". Errr, yeah, I'm sure it's that simple. The whole reason there is any debate is because the cash the government gets isn't enough to do everything they want to do with it. So if you just spend everything on infrastructure you don't have enough cash for stuff like health care.
- Brian Mason did talk some sense, but then came his talk about rent controls. I'm sorry Brian, but Stelmach was right on this point: if you expand the number of units in places where rent in soaring out of control, the competition will help bring rents back down to a reasonable amount. It's easy to charge monstrous rents if you have a tenant who has no choice but to pay you. It's a little hard on the pocket book if you drive your tenant away to new buildings being built.
- The Wild Rose Alliance guy (I'm too lazy to look up his name) came off very strange. He made some comments about how they should give Albertans more of their money back so they could keep their children at home instead of sending them to daycare. Both Mike and I thought this statement was a little odd -- like he was saying that it was the normal thing to do to have one parent stay home? What about single parents who have to send their kids to daycare? Hmm. Dunno what to think about that one
- Where did these men learn their manners? Every one of them had moments where they were talking all through the other person's point. In fact, there were points (particularly at the beginning) where there was two or three people talking at the same time. I don't know about you, but if that happens I can't follow what any of them are saying let alone all of them. I think they must've had the moderators talk to them in the commercial breaks, because it did calm down a little later on
- Who is one supposed to vote for? All these guys don't instill any confidence in me whatsoever. It's all the same thing rehashed over and over again. We want to do X for health care, we will do better than the government currently is, we want change, we want innovation, blah blah blah blah blah. I really want a refreshing change to this! It makes me wish there were more Stephen Mandels running around with fresh thinking and a positive campaign.
I don't know much about politics. I wish that it wasn't really necessary. The election in a couple weeks is not exciting to me in any way. No matter what happens, it will feel like we're putting some clown in power. Am I wrong when I think that?