Hebert on the debate 
After last election's debate Chantal Hebert said basically that Martin 'won' by not getting killed.

This year, she gives Harper some props:
The format — more akin to a forum than to a full-fledged debate — was ultimately a better fit for Harper's needs. His campaign has all been about showcasing his prime ministerial skills.
Last night, he got a rare opportunity to play his policy strengths rather than just focus on Martin's political weaknesses in front of one of the rare large francophone audiences he will have in this campaign.
By and large, the Tory leader stuck to his game plan, spending more time expanding on his policies than on tearing apart the Liberal record. He too managed to get his message across with minimal interference from his co-debaters.
If there was one novelty beyond the debate format last night, it may have been that, for the first time in over a decade, the leader of the Conservative party got a chance to define himself rather than have his opponents define him.
Given the widespread Quebec misgivings vis-à-vis the Conservative leader, Harper probably exceeded many viewers' expectations. Still, it will take more than a handful of debates to change the basic mathematics of the Conservative equation in Quebec in this election.
But Harper's moderate performance last night may have made a potential Conservative victory on Jan. 23 more palatable in Quebec.
With the brief exception of the exchanges dealing with same-sex marriage, he skated on solid policy ice in the province for most of the evening.

Again, she seems to be going a little against the grain - hope she's right.

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