Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Word on the Second (Humboldt) Debate

For all those interested, the video for the Humboldt Debate can be found here: LINK

Please note, the Humboldt video seems to have some audio problems near the front end of the video; as such, all of Erin's opening statement (and some of Trent's) cannot be heard. The audio varies for the rest of the video, but for the most part, it is listenable. 

It also includes a few other videos, namely the other three debates that have been held thus far, and I suspect it will soon showcase the Swift Current debate from tonight and the debates that will happen in the near future.

Going into this post, I thought to myself that it might be a little odd to reflect on the second debate now that we've already discussed the third debate in great detail. As such, I won't be doing candidate profiles for this debate; but we will talk a little bit about what we've seen from the candidates during this debate.

For the most part, it was a continuation of the status quo. All the candidates stayed pretty close to messages that they have presented at the other forums, although there was special consideration given to the rural questions given that this was the first 'rural' debate of the race. As such, the debate is very much worth giving a watch to for those who want to know where the candidates stand on issues that are affecting rural Saskatchewan.

As I lamented in the posts for the third debate, a bulk of the candidates reused opening and closing statements from the Regina debate. It's with that in mind that I ponder a serious question: Why haven't the debates been framed around particular issues?

I've noticed a lot of overlap in terms of questions and answers, and can't help but think that if we had some sort of firmer structure to the style of the debates we could have avoid that. I suppose the fact that we're having fourteen debates in various areas of the province is the answer to why that route wasn't taken; as we want to make sure that those areas get a chance to hear about all the issues and not just a select few...

Either way, I can certainly understand why it's been done, but I can't help but wonder if there was some kind of middle path that could have been taken in order to increase variety and lack of repetition during these first few debates.

I will note that this was the first debate to use the Candidates Asking Candidates Questions format, which is a welcomed addition and something I'd like to see more of in the coming debates; if only as an antidote to the problem of repetition which I've mentioned.

Also, the takeaway from the third debate continues to stand. There was no clear winner in this debate, as all the candidates conducted themselves well and managed to get their points across quite clearly. I will note that Erin seemed much less on the offensive during this debate, and I can't help but wonder why the adversarial tone came back for the Saskatoon debate (I have some thoughts on this, and perhaps we will discuss them in the future, but we'll leave it alone for now).

All in all, the debate was a good first opening for us to hear a bit about how these candidates plan to interact with rural Saskatchewan if they become leader. While all of the other standard issues, from education to housing, were touched on; the candidates did well at shaping their answers within the rural lens and adapting their policy visions to include their plans for both rural and urban Saskatchewan.

Other than that, I think we've touched on the other issues that were brought up when we talked about the third debate.

As mentioned, the Swift Current debate was tonight and there will be one in Melfort on the First of December, which is the last debate before a break for the holiday season. I'm sure I'll have some things to say about those debates, and we may see a return of the candidate profiles for them as well.


Erin Weir said...

I can assure you that I delivered a different opening statement in Humboldt than in Regina or Saskatoon, but I guess that doesn’t count for much without audio :)

Scott said...

^ Good to know; and yes, it's a shame that that the audio doesn't play through, but I suppose that's technology for you...