Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Legault contre Charest - face à face - A game changer?

This was Charest's Waterloo as I see it, win the debate and the world is your's, lose and...well, perhaps the end of a brilliant political career.  I won't beat the metaphor to death, but Legault played the role of Wellington in taking the debate.

Charest was almost always on the defensive.  The liberal leader certainly tried to counter attack, and he landed some serious blows.  One example would be the merger of Provigo to Loblaws, the loss of another head office to Québec, but one that took place when Monsieur Legault was in government.  This was in response to Legault's attack regarding the number of head offices leaving the province.

Québec's first minister, perhaps feeling the heat or needing an audience that was more receptive, repeatedly directed his answers to the moderator.  The CAQ leader was every bit as aggressive as Pauline Marois in yesterday's debate, but Legault's blows were landing and he was more effective in blocking the counter attacks.

This was the debate in a nutshell, Legault attacked and Charest defended and attempted to counter and put the CAQ leader on his heels, but without success.  

The debate was won by François Legault, of that I have little doubt.  As is typical, it wasn't a knockout, Charest as a debater is too skilled.  But in the opinion of this blogger Charest needed to win, and I don't think he did.

If Legault has an Achilles heel its over his history as a hard line separatist.  Charest repeated his line of the CAQ leader being a hard line sovereigntist for 40 years and in 4 seconds switching to federalism.  But I think the talking point that Legault repeated over and over, that Monsieur Charest..."hasn't delivered the merchandise" will resonate more with voters.   

Checking the Journal de Québec's on-line tally Legault comes out on top, 60 to 40%.

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