The Leaders' Debate on the evening of Nov. 9, 2000, ran according to script. All four contenders attacked poor Jean Chretien. In addition, Joe Clark attacked Stockwell Day, who sniped back at Joe Clark in self-defense. Alexa McDonough was very consistent in promoting massive spending on health care and other social programs, as well as decrying tax breaks for the rich.

In our opinion, the clearest winner was Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Quebecois, who very effectively attacked Mr. Chretien and very effectively promoted the sovereignty issue to his supporters in Quebec.

The highlight of the evening was Stockwell Day with his "2-tier" sign and challenge to Jean Chretien to either call him a liar or to withdraw the "attack ads".

The quip of the day was Alexa McDonough stating that Mr. Chretien could not get away with being Mr. Jekyll for 7 years and Mr. Hyde for 37 days.

Of even more interest was the CBC follow-up from Halifax, Toronto and Winnipeg, where they had lined up five viewers of the debate to make comments. Most of the viewers were hostile to Stockwell Day, were supporters of Joe Clark or Alexa McDonough and were luke-warm to Jean Chretien. They all dismissed Gilles Duceppe.

This contrasted sharply with the CTV Internet poll which gave ratings of 37% to Stockwell Day, 27%(?) to Joe Clark, 21% to Jean Chretien, 14%(?) to Alexa McDonough, and only 1% to Gilles Duceppe.

Moral of the story:
People only see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe.