The kids and I watched the last bit of the televised debate last night.
Bucky - wearing his tin foil hat
Selina - skeptical, bewildered
me - giggling, confused
I'm not proud, but I'm not ashamed.
Here's our cast of characters:
Justin Trudeau, Liberal. Elizabeth May, Green Party. Tom Mulcair, New Democrat Party. Stephen Harper, Conservative.
Of course, being me, I can't just keep it to the debate when there is photographic evidence from the Calgary Stampede. Because this blog is primarily concerned with the countrified stylishness, let's take a look at how our leaders wear a cowboy hat. I do believe this is a reasonable indicator of who deserves my vote.
First of all, Stephen Harper, current holder of the position, who has clearly been taking Smiling Lessons. Next, Tom Mulcair, who has a great beard. And Justin Trudeau, who, in case you don't know, was raised by a Prime Minister and in case you haven't noticed, is pretty.
I have just reduced all three of these fine gentleman to their looks. It's like being a girl in grade 8 all over again. Geez.
Unapologetic examination of their looks: I think they all look pretty decent in the above pictures. Harper appears to be in a good mood. Although it's hard to tell with him. His mouth is going up at the corners so that's definitely a positive mood indicator. Mulcair looks all business but with the possibility of a sly joke, so he's all ready for his Dodge Ram truck commercial. Trudeau is giving us a chance to admire his thoughtful eyebrows. Most importantly, they are all exhibiting good hat skills. They paid attention when they were shown how to set the hatband on their foreheads first, then place it on the head properly, so it actually stays on. Good job, fellas.
And yes, many people have remarked on Harper being the only black hat. Hmmmm. Is he really evil, or is he just going for a vibe here? You decide, Canada. It's a democracy.
But then things go slightly wrong for Mulcair
Notice that Harper and Trudeau are demonstrating good hat technique, but Tommy there seems to have lost control of his hat band. That's pushed back a little too far on his head. Any further and I'd have to give him a stern talking-to like I plan to have with Madonna one of these days. I'll give him points for the fancy wild rag around his neck though. I'm assuming that's a real silk wild rag. Y'know, the kind I've never seen in Ontario.
And they're all smiling.
One major problem, obviously, is that nobody even bothered to find out if Elizabeth May knows how to wear a cowboy hat. I'm not even sure if she was there. To be honest, I'm not positive that all these pictures came from 2015. I'm too lazy to do my research.
I do have one picture of Liz in a hat. She appears to be wearing a Canadian Broadcasting Corp apron while making pancake batter. I'm sure there's a joke in there but I can't find it. Hat skills: is that pink? Or is it white with the red apron reflected on it? I hope it's pink. I would love it if the Green Party leader wore a pink hat. I don't know why exactly, but I'd love that. I'd also like to just push it down towards her eyebrows a little more. I could help her. Last night I dreamed that I was giving somebody free horse handling advice at a party and told them, "I usually charge $40 an hour for this shit so pay attention" and I feel like I could really help politicians and pop stars with my hat advice.
That could be my side business while I'm not teaching this year. Hat skills for Politicians, with Heidi the Hick.
In general though, other than the above slight hat skew, Tom looks pretty good.
I mean, I'm biased, because in my world, facial hair = integrity and trustworthiness. Throw on a plaid shirt and that's what a man is supposed to look like. Examples: My dad, my husband, Johnny Depp. Mind you, out of those three, only my ol' man has a real legit beard. Jethro and Johnny can barely grow a mustache and goatee, but I'll count scruff.
Mulcair has majestic Prime Ministerial beard factor.
And a reassuring GRIN.
As opposed to Prime Minister Steve, who kind of looks like he's been practicing in front of a mirror. I'm sure his People have told him to lighten up and appear friendlier.
I don't know why they bothered. I mean, he's been PM for like, ten years, or 13, or foreeeeeever, so why worry about looking all chummy and pally now? Did I ever mention that somehow in my household he's earned the nickname "Shark Eyes?" I am not even sure why. It just sort of happened. Ol' Shark Eyes. Prime Minister Shark Eyes. He's probably a really nice fella and I'm positive he keeps his lawn mower blades perfectly clean. Just because he doesn't appear to have deep emotions does not mean he's a bad fella. Just because he doesn't seem to care for arts funding doesn't mean he's a bad guy. Sorry, I got kinda biased there. But I'm not a real journalist so whatevs, man.
Then you've got Justin Trudeau, who needs neither a beard nor a grin.
Well howdy to you too.
Is that a day's worth of stubble on your chin? You know how I feel about scruffy and pretty! Like, I can see his eyelashes from back here. I am so shallow.
Can I just take a moment to admire Mulcair's wife? Catherine Pinhas:
She is awesome. Look at this side-eye. Nobody is going to hoodwink this woman. No sir. You think Tommy gets away with anything dumb in their house? I doubt it. She probably never raises her voice. She doesn't have to. She just does THAT and the whole family sits up straight and says Yes Mam. Heck, let's just get Catherine in the leadership race.
Seriously. I'll even let her get away with the Bon Jovi hat because she wears her hair in braids, and she's got kind of a cool hippy lady thing going on.
He looks pretty happy when he's with her. Not quite like how Jay Z looks miserable except in pictures with Beyonce but you get the idea.
And on that note of looking happy, let's check out Harper and his Advanced Smiling Skills.
Good job, Steve. Do you think Laureen calls him Steve or Stephen?
This is good. Smiling while holding a microphone.
There is no possible way this picture would not delight me.
And of course, what appears to be an actual smile of genuine goodness happens in the presence of Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, who just always looks happy. City underwater? Let's clean it up, he grins. Ride a horse in the Stampede parade? Smile and wave! This guy always looks happy!!!! If PM Harper failed to crack a smile around Nenshi, I'd be checking his pulse.
I can't tell if Harper is staring in practiced amazement at something slightly beside the amazing thing Laureen is pointing at, or if he's yawning. He might need to work on Advanced Facial Skills Lessons.
This picture delights me as much as the one with the Stampede princesses. What could possibly be the topic of discussion here? Keystone pipeline? Taxes? Equine nutrition? And what is that horse is thinking????
And what is this horse thinking? Maybe he's already had two photo ops today and he's done. Maybe he's alarmed that Mulcair has lost his hat.
So that's your warmup before the debate. Now you know what they all look like when they're having a Mandatory Good Time. Let's check them out in their Serious Leadership Outfits. Keep in mind, I haven't read any morning recaps from the actual writers who know what they're talking about, and this is just my own BS, so y'know, hahaha and all that. Nobody wore cowboy hats, and all three men wore really boring ties. What a disappointment.
Elizabeth May probably won't win, and had nothing to lose, so she just went for it.
She slammed down the fear-mongering and was decently pleasant about it. And look at the Decisive Pointing techniques. Once we work on the Hat Wearing Skills, she'll be a force to be reckoned with!
I thought she held her own. She wasn't as entertaining as that one time she played music on her gadget phone into the mic. Also she did not wear anything green. Not even green lipstick. Now that would have won the debate for me.
Trudeau… I'm not really sure what he said. It all sounded very mellow and reasonable. But the next day, I'm looking at the pictures and all I can think about is Opera Man. He appears to be carrying a deep resonant note there.
And here is his high C.
Mulcair and Harper worked up some Synchronized Decisive Gesturing.
Mulcair had some top notch FACIAL EXPRESSIONS!!!!!
My absolute favourite part of the debate though, was Stephen Harper's new Smiling Skills. Oh my gosh, he put so much work into that. All those lessons. I would like to believe that there was a Smile Coach behind the camera man. She wears black framed glasses, has her hair in a tight ponytail, and carries a clipboard. For notes. She's looking at Harper and sticking her fingers into the corners of her mouth to remind him that the corners of the mouth go up to make a smile. Sometimes she bares her teeth if he needs to amp up the charm a little. The best part of the whole debate happened at the end of his final remarks, when he blasted us with a full on creepy shark smile, and the three of us almost fell off the couch with a whoop of laugh-cringing!
Mulcair was pretty solid throughout the debate but then stumbled over his words once in his final remarks. Man, no pressure, but that's the thing that people remember. It's like putting ketchup on somebody's dessert. But I just hope he never dyes his hair or uses botox. Keep it real, Tom!
May's final remarks were perfectly pleasant, suggesting we get to know the Green Party and that they're a legit party and I'm all for a legit party, in any case.
Then after being all blandly political throughout the debate, or at least what I saw of it, Trudeau got the last word and basically won the final remarks. Like just won it. He looked straight into the camera with his best Sincere Face, did not look at any notes, and smoothly addressed the argument that, as in the Conservative ads currently running, he is "not ready" for the job. He told us that he learned how to be a leader from his dad (as in, the guy who ran the country for like all of the 70s and again in the 80s) and that he is a 43 year old father of three and wants Canada to be the something something nation for them to grow up in. It was just a perfectly memorized and delivered speech and it was all full of words. Really nicely said words.
Then they all shook hands. This is great.
I like to think of them just verbally attacking each other on TV and then half an hour later, they're in the green room with their feet up on the coffee tables, Mulcair has a nice Quebec La Fin Du Monde (scariest beer in the world, folks, it's amazing) and Trudeau has some obscure hipster beer, May has a kale shake and Harper has a glass of flat ginger ale with no ice in it, and they're all unbuttoning their jackets.
"Dude, that crack about the military? Wow, you got me! Good job. Next time, in the French language debate, go for the war-mongering angle, just be ruthless. The audience will love that."
"Sure. And I think it will play really well if you criticize my weak French skills. I'll come back with a jab at your tax policies to even it out. Cool?"
So that's my political commentary for the year. I probably won't bother writing about it when they hand out the Prime Ministerial Tiara and Sash. I mean, you can only watch somebody shake hands with a prize winning goat so many times in your life before it gets kinda boring.