I watched the French-language Federal election debates tonight and abruptly lost two hours of my life that I'll never, ever, ever get back. It was unbearable. The translators did a good job making it look like they weren't reading from a script, however.
t: Jack Layton d: I must say that he didn't do as well as he could have. He didn't speak very much, and I don't really remember much of what he said. Thus, he did not make an impression, and I don't think that anybody watching (aka the old lady and her cat) were swayed by his speeches. t: Stephen Harper d: This guy can't speak French or English. If there's anything funnier than watching Harper make a fool of himself in English, it's watching Harper make a fool of himself in French! He repeated "c'est necessaire" far too many times and evaded nearly every question. In other words, same ol', same ol' Harper. t: Paul Martin d: Martin too remained true to his character. I call his way of talking "Martinical rhetoric," because he says nearly nothing useful. The only difference between Martin and Chrétien is that we (unfortunately) can understand what Martin is saying. He did not make a lot of headway in the debate because a lot of the questions addresses issues which his campaign has been trying to hide, mainly ethics and the sponsorship scandal. t: Gilles Duceppe d: If there were any "winner" to this debate, it would be Duceppe. He was confident and cogent. Ironically, I think that Duceppe is the most coherent of the leaders in French or English! But the fact that the debates were in French helped, since obviously he thinks in French. The other leaders had to translate their thoughts from English to French (and then I had to listen to the translators translate these translated thoughts back to English).
Duceppe also gets mucho bonus points for referencing Yogi bear. :D
I don't know if I could stomach the English-language debates after tonight, but I think I'll watch them anyway, just to compare how the leaders do.