Who won the Ontario leaders debate?
September 20, 2007 | 07:54 PM
It may well be the central event of this five-week campaign — a generally polite but otherwise no-holds-barred debate between the three main Ontario party leaders.
For 90-minutes, NDP Leader Howard Hampton, Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty and Conservative Leader John Tory faced pre-taped questions from voters and then went after each other over health care, transit, energy, crime and schooling, among other subjects.
For the most part, the Liberal premier was the butt of the attacks, accused by his Conservative counterpart of "not being a strong leader." McGuinty was challenged for having broken some of his promises from the 2003 election, in particular for having raised taxes for health care. And for not doing enough for schools, hospitals or children with special needs, among other disadvantaged groups.
At some points he was reduced to acknowledging there is "more work to be done." But at other times he gave as good as he got, noting that unemployment and crime are down on his watch and that the economic numbers compare very favourably to those periods when the Conservatives and NDP were in power. He also noted his government was the first to measure hospital wait times because "your governments didn't have the guts."
So who won? The political pundits will have their say, why don't you?
Did this debate change your impression of any of the provincial party leaders? Who do you think did best in the debate?