The great debate

Ray Smit looks at the federal election through his own, unique lens


f you’re a political junkie like me, you’re already champing at the bit for Tuesday’s debate. Thanks to my patented time travel technology — it’s an app on the new iPhone5 — here are the highlights:

Moderator: “Good evening. I’m Steve Paikin. And this is Debate 2011. 

Mr. Ignatieff you are accused of being too American. Your response?”

Ignatieff: “I love my country. So I love the Red Sox, Mom and apple pie.”

Layton: “That doesn’t sound very Canadian.”

Ignatieff: “Oops! I was reading from my Harvard application. You know, just in case this Canadian thing doesn’t pan out.”         

Moderator: “Mr. Harper would you please stop singing God Bless America.”

Ignatieff: “I thought this was a debate not American Idol.” 

Harper: “Figures you’d say AMERICAN Idol. Coalition lover!”

Moderator: “Mr. Layton. What is your position on the deficit?

Layton: “Stephen Harper just took my lunch money!”

Moderator: “Stephen give Jack back his money.”

Harper: “Okay. But after I ditch vote subsidies, there won’t be any more free lunch!”

Moderator: “Mr. Duceppe. Why on earth are you sitting on the floor?”

Duceppe: “The Conservatives just stole my seat.”

Harper: “We’re gonna take your other 48 seats too!”

Layton: “Stephen, be nice.”

Harper: “I was being nice.”

Moderator: “Mr. Ignatieff your position on fighter jets?”

Ignatieff: “Hold on, I’m checking my iPad. Latest poll says 68 per cent of Canadians oppose buying F-35 fighter jets. So I’m 68 per cent sure I oppose them.”

Moderator:  “Mr. Harper, your position?”

Harper: “Free jet rides for anyone who votes for me. Plus, I brought kittens with blue mittens and TimBits for every Tory here tonight!” 

Ignatieff: “Ooh. TimBits! Is it too late to change my vote?”

Layton:  “I can’t believe I’m losing to these guys.”

Moderator:  “An open question. Your reaction to Ms. May’s exclusion from the debate.”

All together: “No girls allowed!”

Ignatieff: “Could we hurry this up. I’m missing The Biggest Loser.”

Harper: “I guess you haven’t checked a mirror lately.”

Layton: “Gee that’s right. I’m missing NCIS.”

Harper: “On tonight’s episode the team searches for NDP voters but can’t find any.”

Duceppe: “I’m missing Beautés Désespérées”

Ignatieff: “That’s just a French version of an American show: Desperate Housewives.”

Harper: “Figures you’d know it’s an AMERICAN show. Low down Coalitionist!

Moderator: “Here’s an audience question. What do you do for fun at the Conservative campaign headquarters?

Layton: “I hear they run the movie Scrooge backwards. That way it has a happy Conservative ending.”

Moderator: “We’re running out of time. Final questions. Mr. Layton what will you do on May 2nd if you are elected prime minister?

Layton: “I’ll check the temperature.If it’s minus 273 degrees Celcius, it’ll confirm my suspicion that hell has just frozen over.”

Moderator: “Mr. Duceppe, what would you do if you were elected prime minister?”

Duceppe: “Demand a recount.”

Moderator: “What is the first thing you’d do as prime minister, Mr. Ignatieff?

Ignatieff: “Form a coalition. I mean not form a coalition. Gee, I really haven’t given it much thought. I’ve got tickets for the Boston Pops.”

Moderator: “Mr. Harper. What will you do if you win a majority?”

Harper: “I’ll allow myself a brief smile. Hope my face doesn’t crack and then start running attack ads on Justin Trudeau.”

Moderator: “This concludes Debate 2011. Stay tuned for Romper Room.”

— Ray Smit is a regular columnist for The News