Forty years of debate


in Canada, Films and movies, Geek stuff, Internet matters, Politics

In case yesterday’s debate left anyone wanting more videos of Canadian politicians arguing, the CBC has an archive of every leaders’ debate from 1968 to 2008.

My friend and trivia teammate Aaron brought the archive to my attention.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

dot April 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm

When we say the leaders were making things up on the fly, consider the Liberal and Conservative commitments on health-care transfers.
The federal-provincial transfer agreements, which were going to be up in 2014, were negotiated in 2004 when the federal government was flush with cash. As a result, Paul Martin’s Liberals promised to index the yearly payments at 6 per cent, a hugely generous index far beyond any other government program. Partly in exchange, the provinces agreed to certain stipulations, ostensibly designed to produce certain outcomes for the federal money.
For the next while, Ottawa will be in a deficit – a very different set of circumstances from the ones that prevailed in 2004. So any sensible government today should say nothing about what might be negotiated leading up to 2014.
The Harper government had taken that sensible position. No, it said, transfers won’t be cut in absolute dollar terms, but no guarantees were offered on the indexation. That position had been repeated many times by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
But then Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals, trailing in the polls and knowing how health care animates Canadians, suddenly announced that, if elected, they would index health care to 6 per cent for the duration of the new accord. This promise wasn’t in the party platform unveiled the previous week, and it wasn’t in speeches on health care given before the campaign by a trio of Liberal MPs – very weak speeches full of vapid rhetoric and slogans rather than serious analysis.

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