|We don't need another hero...|
So says Aunty Entity in the post-apocalyptic Mad Max sequel which, it bears mentioning, features better roads than those found in Montreal today.
And it will most likely be the political end of at least one of these two men after this election. Jean Charest will not sit in an opposition bench waiting 5 years for another crack at power and while François Legault stretched his initial offer to reenter political life from 5 years to 10, it's quite possible he'll pull out of politics if he finds himself as the third party with very little popular support.
It's hard to know with Legault so, as he's fond of saying: "On verra".
After appearing like the argumentative pub drunk on the 4 Leaders debate on Sunday, Legault started out surprisingly strong. He methodically raised the ethical issues surrounding Charest's cabinet and asked for explanation. Jean Charest was on the defensive for most of these exchanges but wily Liberal did take shots at some of Legault's team. Still, a calm and calculating approach was effective for Legault but once Charest accused him of not speaking up when Provigo was bought up by Loblaws, he reverted to an incensed and outraged populist.
It wasn't a terrible performance from Legault but he clearly ran out of steam and patience at the end. It would be fair to question whether or not he confused the Premier with the FedEx delivery guy because he kept chastising him over and over again that he "didn't deliver the merchandise!".
But since we're choosing a Premier and not a Chief Debater, Legault's saving grace was that his earnestness shone through. Sure, you can argue that his ideas are simplistically flawed but he does admit that the province will enter a crucible for a period of time if he were to be Premier. He's perfectly willing to shake things up administratively within the province.
For Charest, he certainly comes across as someone that knows his files. The most obvious flaw after hearing him debate for 4 hours in 3 nights is that his way of accounting for results is stating how he increased spending in various ministerial budgets. The services provided though are skillfully omitted when it doesn't suit him. His approach is to launch into his numbers and rattle them off one after another as the elector's eyes glaze over with boredom.
Jean Charest never connects with the people watching. It's always aggressive and defensive posturing.
So who won? First half of the debate clearly belonged to Legault and the second half to Charest.
However, no one inspired the electorate to want to vote for either party.
Tonight, there were no winners, only losers.