Alright it's over. I could not liveblog for the last 20 minutes. Charest was a bit weaker at the end and his closing statement was unconvincing. Marois defended her support of reopening the topic of the Constitution, I'm not sure how that's gonna play out.
Overall I'd have to give it to Charest. He looked more in control than the others and managed to avoid any major gaffe. That is all he needed to win since he just needed a draw to win since he is 12% ahead of Marois. I do not see how Marois could close the gap with tonight's performance.
9:37 Good call by Charest. He clearly points out that both Dumont and Marois wants to reopen up the Constitutional problem. Dumont tries to change the subject by talking about cigarettes smuggling. Bizarre.
9:36 Well scratch that, she clearly state that she will hold a referendum on the cultural issue if Harper does not give her everything she wants. Dumont thinks it is a bad idea.
9:33 Charest attempts to position himself as the champion of Québécois in Ottawa. Marois does not shy away from saying that she wants independence but does not talk of referendum yet.
9:30 Next topic: Québec of tomorrow... First question: what will you do to reverse the demographic trend that reduce Québec's weight in Canada.
9:27 Asked how the government would help a stay-at-home mom with 2 kids, Marois honestly tells her that she will not do anything about it since she is focusing on the daycare at 7$/day.
9:26 But Dumont keeps dodging the question of where he will cut the 2 billions. It makes him look like an amateur.
9:24 Gotta give a point to Dumont when he criticize Marois for focusing entirely on daycare. He says, quite rightly, that not everyone with kids has the same kind of needs and his proposition to give 100$ per week per kid for each family is more interesting and flexible than a government run daycare system.
9:22 The first mention of the word "souverain" (sovereignty) by Marois, 88 minutes into the debate. It shows how eager she is to talk about it.
9:21 Marois tries to pass the message that she will do what she promises to do while Charest promises a lot but does not deliver. She has said that several times during the debate.
9:15 Charest asks Dumont where he will cut the 2 billions he promises to cut. Dumont replies by attacking Charest, dodging the question.
9:13 The debate feels very different from the federal debate. That's because Dumont has to hit both Marois and Charest and these only focus on each other. It feels more like a real debate than a 4 on 1 gangbang.
9:08 Charest is hitting low. After being blamed of not funding daycare enough he countered by saying that the PQ left the PLQ with 4.3 billions in debt in 2003 which forced him to face reality. Then he says: "Well we and Quebecois have to face reality. You might not have to face it but we do. You're not showing compassion". He is trying to hit on the perception of Marois as rich and out of touch with "real" Quebecois. Cheap shot.
9:04 Economy is over, now education. It is hard to say who was the strongest on the economy, but it was closer than in health care.
8:57 Dumont saying that the problem at the Caisse (Social security) is due to speculation is downright ridiculous
8:55 Marois is trying to cut Charest very aggressively and she seems a bit exasperated. She keeps talking while others are talking.
8:52 Charest tries to frame the debate with some of Marois' budget decision in 2002 but it does not work as well as during the health care debate. Marois and Dumont manages to corner Charest on the subject of the increased deficit which he tried to hide.
8:51 It is pretty hard to understand the policies of the Party with this debate. It is more of a (very entertaining) shout fest.
8:45 Dumont has clearly never read Keynes. Calls for the government to cut some government spending during an economic crisis.
8:42 Marois is stronger on the economy because she manages to set the frame of the debate on Charest's government results.
8:39 Wow. Dumont tells Charest that he had a good idea. Does not happen often.
8:37 Next topic: Economy.
8:28 Marois is not doing well. She totally lost the health care debate.
8:26 Dumont is always much better when complaining about the shortcomings of others than when proposing something.
8:24 Dumont is looking down when talking. Very bizarre body language. He does not look at the camera or who he is talking to.
8:21 Charest successfully managed to frame the health care woes around Marois' decision in the 1990's. Marois is looking weak on this, she should be on the attack on this subject and she is on the defensive.
8:18 "Madame Marois je vous arrête, vous l'avez géré vous le système de santé et puis vous ne l'avez pas amélioré." Ouch. That one hurt. (he told her she administered the health system in the past and she did not improve it). Dumont attempts to position himself as an alternative, but I do not think anyone takes him seriously anymore.
8:17 Marois does not even bother to attack Dumont. She uses her conversation with him to attack Charest.
8:13 Charest tries to pin the blame of the current problems of the health care system on Marois' decisions in the 1990s and she admits she made a mistake. Very heated argument between the two. Charest sounds a bit angry.
8:11 Charest is tearing Dumont a new one on health care. He was ready for the attacks and countered them really well. Dumont's proposal of cutting 2 billion on the health care system won't go well and Charest know it.
8:09 Marois is not wearing any jewel except for some very low key earrings. Still trying to be careful to avoid that "snobby" image which has been plaguing her for several years.
8:05 : Charest starts by trying to frame the election in term of the economy. Marois claims Charest started elections that no one wanted for no good reason but his self interest. She claims she has a plan which is based on "gros bon sens". She beat ADQ to his punchline! Maroi Dumont claims he brought change to Québec and cite his only achievement is bringing back numbered grades in school. A real paradigm shift!