Debate spins

Posted in BC Votes 2009 Campaign Bytes Posted by CBC News on May 3, 2009 11:44 AM |

Campaign BytesJeff DaviesMay 3 - Vancouver. The leaders have gathered for the televised debate. Even before it begins, my BlackBerry is vibrating furiously in my vest pocket. The New Democrat campaign team is responding to Campbell's comments as fast as they're out of his mouth: 5:01 p.m. "Will Campbell finally admit his policies are hurting working families in touch times?" 5:12 p.m.: "The truth on deficits." 5:18 p.m. " The truth about Campbell's neglect of rural B.C." And so on. Eight news releases in an hour from the NDP. Then at 6:35 p.m. another, this one proclaiming, "defensive Campbell ducks answers..." Finally at 7:51, less than two hours after the debate has concluded, the NDP is claiming a "knockout victory" for Carole James.

The release quotes the pundits with the Vancouver Sun, the Province, CTV and others. I'm reminded of all those surveys I've seen over the years showing the public pays more attention to media reports about leaders' debates than to the debates themselves. I'm also reminded of the bumpy float plane trip I took with the NDP leader earlier in the campaign to view independent power projects. Reporters were given a news release claiming Carole James had seen first hand the environmental damage caused by the power projects - even before the float plane had taken off.

Jeff Davies
CBC News Vancouver