A Pair of Debates – and a Baseball Game

Last night was remote control night at the television.

I had three things that I was trying to watch simultaneously.  First, there was the baseball game.  Then, there was the debate among those who aspire to be the next Prime Minister of Canada.  Finally, there was the debate between the two candidates who would become vice-president of the United States should their party win.

There was a stark contrast between the Prime Minister and Vice-President debates.

The Prime Minister debate was very laid back and civilized.  Here, we had the candidates sitting around a table much like you would find in an office conference room debating and posturing to come across to the Canadian public as to which would be the best statesperson for our country.   By contrast, the vice-president debaters were on a grand stage at Washington University with a substantial audience in attendance.

So, I’m flipping the channels trying my best to stay on top of it all.  Until the debates were over, baseball took a back seat I must admit.

The Prime Minister debates were pretty much what I had expected.  The leaders of the parties spoke very eloquently and their messages were very consistent with what you see in the media.

The Vice-Presidential debates were so different.  It was very clear that the message that was delivered was the party position.  There was a lot of “Obama would do this” or “John would do that”.  You didn’t really get a sense of where the candidates stood personally and this obviously was by design.  Should either of them stumble, the media would jump all over any inconsistencies and there’s no way to recover.  There was keen interest leading up to the debates and it was more about the candidates than the content.

That’s a real shame.  It was almost like the barometer for success for the Prime Minister debate was who won and for the Vice-President debate, it was who would perform the least worst.

The unfortunate part of the way that debates are held is that there is an opportunity to throw dirt at ones opponent.  It’s a shame, particularly if you want to focus on what a potential winner might actually do if elected.

Every candidate prepped so well for the event.  Under the spotlights, there was no room for a slip up.

My opinion, at the end of both debates, was admiration for all of the candidates.  As I’ve blogged previously, I think it’s a strong individual who puts her/his life under this close scrutiny.  From a media perspective, I don’t imagine that there wasn’t much satisfaction.  Everyone did well; there didn’t appear to me to be any real gaffs that are going to make the 15 second YouTube infamy.

Then, there were the baseball games.  Common thread among all three events; they all had commentators ready to rip apart every move and comment!

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