Your viral election: Post-debate special!

byiPolitics776 Views

  1. Wow. Holy moly. What was that? Twitter — at least in Canada, anyway — just had a moment, I think. It was like watching a hummingbird feeding, and trying to keep track of each wing beat. Now that I've put my eyes back in their sockets, maybe we can get some sense of exactly what everyone was saying.

    If it matters. 

    It's worth wondering at this point, I think, whether the debate twittertalk was any more useful than the kind that takes place when people watch the Oscars. It's like being in a large living room, packed with loud cynical know-it-alls who are all talking at once. To themselves, mostly. 

    For the most part, I think the comments on Twitter added little to the debate. Even though there was a lot of talk earlier in the day about not designating the leaders' one-liners with tired terms like, "knockout punch," "low blow," or – most of all – "gamechanger," it seemed that everybody in the Twitterverse was aiming to land a zinger that would fit that very criteria. 

    So let's get to some of the more interesting things that were said.
  2. 1. Talking to themselves

    Every so often the annoying echo reverberating around the high ceilings of the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa wasn't quite as loud as the one on Twitter. 

    Case in point: The party faithful.

    Here's Conservative Laurie Hawn:
  3. Short, to the point, and so boring it was barely worth even typing. As far as political tweets go? Just about perfect. 

    After the debate was over, Jason Kenney weighed in:
  4. Not only does Kenney think there are questions on the ballot, but that there is only one. This should be breaking news! Elections Canada has obviously been taken over by the Riddler. And he wants you to vote Conservative.

    Over on the New Democrat side, incumbent MP Peter Julian was just as loyal to his party's leader. 
  5. And the Liberals? Michael Ignatieff wasn't taking any chances. Rather than rely on his candidates – or anyone else – to tow the line, he decided to tweet himself. During the debate!
  6. Or so it seemed. See, those crafty Liberals had actually handed off Ignatieff's Blackberry to Young Liberal Big Cheese Adam Goldenberg. Wow. That was so clever. 
  7. More than an hour after the debate finished, Conservative uber-tweeter Tony Clement weighed in. (Finally! We were worried about you, Mr. Clement!)

  8. Yawn.

    One last thing on this party echo chamber: Your Viral Election's new best friend, Conservative spokesman Dimitri Soudas, spent a lot of time (too much, really) responding to the Liberal Party's media wire. 

    That account is a kind of instant re-tweeting bot of the party's main account, and an account that also occasionally tweets some quick talking points from Liberal press releases. 

    Like this:
  9. So it was weird when Soudas did this:
  10. Ummm...

    So, just to get this straight: Instead of tweeting at a human Liberal like, oh I don't know, Michael Ignatieff (?!), he chose to take on what seems to just be a kind of hold-all account for the Liberal propaganda messaging. 

    It's as if, in that crowded living room full of people talking to themselves, there is one guy off in the corner, talking to a lamp. 

    2. But what of the pundits?

    Oh, that Auditor General draft report. This certainly won't be the last time we see that come up during this election, everyone. It will at least come up again this week. At least! 

    But when the three opposition leaders started shouting at Harper that he ought to release the AG report, there were a few questions – like this one, from Xtra's Dale Smith:

  11. Well, that's a point: Why would Sheila Fraser defy all protocol, throw caution to the wind and release a report when there is no Parliament to which she can actually release it? Huh? HUH? 

    That's what I thought. 

    Over at Punditsguide, Alice Funke reprimanded all those anti-Duceppe naysayers:
  12. Touché. 

    Of course, one could argue that perhaps because Duceppe is the leader of the one party in the House that actually wants to split the country apart and is only advocating for one province and therefore might not have the interest of everyone in mind, but well, I don't know? I guess I'm fine with it. I mean, democracy, right? It kind of wears you down that way.

    At the very least, he often makes things more interesting. And he was the only one of the leaders who made it clear that he recycles. That suit was obviously from about 1987. Perhaps that's why it matched the set. (Hi-yo!)

    Meanwhile, the CBC's Kady O'Malley wondered to her followers:
  13. It was rhetorical, of course. O'Malley has also been wondering over the last few days how, exactly, the Conservatives justified leaking the later version of the report. It's a good question, and, I'm afraid, one that wasn't really answered tonight. 

    Over on the East Coast, Stephen Maher from the Halifax Chronicle-Herald called the debate in favour of Harper.