The Political Witching Hour
21 September 2007, 09h00 EDT (GMT-4)
The Leaders' Debate Blog
Click logo for the complete transcript
It is in the moments after a leaders' debate that political campaigns cast the most potent spell of the dark arts of spin: telling the electorate what they saw and heard, and therefore what they think.
Far fewer people will ever view a debate than will read and hear about it later. Moreover, even those who diligently sit through the proceedings can be remarkably susceptible to the following day's received opinion. For both these reasons, the campaign that controls the debate after-chatter has the power to re-write history.
In an effort to offer an analysis insulated from partisan talking points and untouched by post-debate spin, CanWest drew together a panel to provide a live blog-driven commentary on last night's Ontario leaders' debate. Former NDP president Adam Giambrone, former Mike Harris Chief of Staff Guy Giorno, CFRB radio host John Moore, and I put fingers to keyboard to offer up our analysis as the pearls of wisdom (or other matter) dropped from the lips of the provincial leaders.
Each of us certainly has decided political views, but I felt that the tone of our exchange was constructive, respectful, and thoughtful, and I hope that it was a useful companion to the debate.
A full transcript of our commentary from the National Post is available by clicking here.
Ironically, each of us found our hastily typed words being cited by the three political parties in their post-debate press releases, in at least one case to support a view that was apparently not his own. It seems that the dark arts of spin can even feed upon counter-spin.