Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sheila White Wins Debate

I have blogged about the byelection in our riding here and here. There was an all-candidate debate today at the Islamic Foundation, attended by the representatives of the Liberals, Tories, NDP and Greens.

It was moderated by some bearded muslim guy who also works for the CBC (I regret not taking my digital camera with me - people who know me will know this is sacrilege on my part). The four panelists had collected the questions submitted via the Foundation website for the past week, selected some of them and fired away. The questions covered a lot of the community issues and I felt were well assorted.

Sheila White of the NDP stood out. Every question placed to her had a well thought out answer. She really knew the community and its issues, and seems a well placed candidate for our riding. She was also the one who got the loudest claps.

Prior to the debate Howard Hampton, the leader of NDP, went around the room shaking hands. I can tell you he looks you in the eye when you ask questions. He didn't shy away from any tough answers too.

Cynthia Lai of the Tories was OK. I like her, she seems a nice lady. I didn't like the fact that she read out a prepared speech as her opening remark. Even I know that's not good public speaking policy. Over all she provided some nice shots at the government. However Sheila outshone her by quite a margin.

The Green Party candidate (forgot his name) was exciting. He was really amusing. There is no way in hell he has a shot of winning this. So he could afford to make promises. One thing though, he was consistent throughout. Whatever positions he took, there was no hudging and fudging and political double-speak, most evident with Liberals and Conservatives. He was so consistent, I started to predict what he was going to say.

And lastly, Mr Bas of the Liberals. I like Mr Bas personally. He was one of the few men who had the guts to stop the MFP computer purchase scandal at City Hall. Too bad he is running for the liarMc Guinty's party. Since I don't like liars provincial Liberals I won't talk any more about Mr Bas. One must however mention the fact when he was asked about why he opposed a Muslim/Chinese seniors' home, and asked by a Muslim/Chinese guy in a mosque attended by a diverse community, Mr Bas negotiated the question with admirable ease. None of the others matched him. The Liberals are good politicians.

Over all, I have still not decided who I am going to vote for. But I did pick up the NDP flier on my way out.


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