Monday, November 26, 2012

Third Debate: Erin Weir

As per the last round of individual reviews, I'm including this disclaimer. I'm worried some of this might sounder harsher than I mean it to. I want to assure you all that I am by no means belittling or attacking any of the candidates; rather, I'm offering my perceived take and ways to address what I see as problems from the first debate. If I offend anyone, I offer my apologies ahead of time, and assure you that my intention was not to offend; I suppose it is hard to discuss legitimate criticism, but I feel that we need to in order to really get the best out of our candidates.


1.) Erin continued to use humour incredibly effectively, as he was (by my count) the candidate who delivered the most cut-up lines throughout the course of the debate.

2.) Erin also continued to do very well in highlighting his policies, especially with regard to his proposals being costed.

3.) Erin's closing argument continued to focus a lot on his past involvement in the party, but also included a strong mention of his plans and policies, as well as calling on a plan to completely erase the provincial debt.


1.) Again, Erin came across as the most aggressive candidate on stage, especially in his exchanges with Cam Broten. As I stated previously, this wouldn't be so bad if the other candidates were as hard on everyone on the stage, but when it's just one candidate and the back-and-forth that creates it doesn't stand out in a positive light.

2.) Erin seemed to be ahead of the questions, as he twice answered questions prior to those specific questions being asked. While he did get a good joke out of the situation, I think it restricts his ability to answer those questions in a way that people will recall when the debate is over. It takes away the chance to contrast his policies with those of his opponents, and that's a useful tool when try to woo supporters.

Areas for Growth

As mentioned above, I think Erin would benefit from keeping his answers more confined to question posed; if only, so that he can provide that exposition when the question regarding it is asked. Sometimes it's good to be ahead of the eight ball, but not always when you want people to be able to see the differences between you and another candidate.

I also think that Erin would be better served by toning back his challenging during the debate; but, if he simply must continue to be the 'contrarian' on stage, he should at least ensure that he directs his challenges to every candidate. He did challenge Ryan's economic plan during the debate, but the main exchange was his blasting of Cam regarding the Legislative Advisory Committee. It's worth noting that he didn't actually mention Trent by name with regards to that issue, which really made it seem like more of a personal jab against Cam. As such, I think if Erin is going to continue to be the candidate who provokes spirited exchanges, he needs to ensure that he's doing so in a way that doesn't come across as personal.

Final Thoughts

Even with a cold, Erin managed to leave an impression. I thought he did a good job at focusing on his own policies in this debate, and spent less time focusing on the other candidates' policies. At the same time, he needs to be sure that his challenges to the other candidates come across on a professional level, rather than seeming like personal vendettas. He did justify being the more aggressive candidate by saying it was to ensure that policy was rigorously debated; and as such, he needs to be sure that he's sticking to policy debate when using this tactic. 

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