Last night's Toronto leadership forum has received plenty of attention, including media coverage as well as personal takes from Ian Welsh and Progressive Proselytizing. Subject to the below my own take on the candidates didn't change much from what I saw in December's debate, but a few points do seem worth noting: Niki Ashton wasn't quite the standout she was in the first official debate; Nathan Cullen continues to impress in a comparative environment except when he's trying to pitch his electoral co-operation plan; Paul Dewar's French remains a major question mark; and Romeo Saganash was certainly more energetic in English than in the first official debate, but still had some issues with pacing and (which again aren't a problem for him in French).
So what were the candidates up to over the last few days?
- In what I can only take as a response to the comment about his lack of endorsements in my last candidate rankings, Cullen unveiled the support of Alex Atamanenko and Fin Donnelly. I now suggest that Brian Topp perform a soft-shoe routine to prove his versatility in entertaining audiences.
- Dewar won several more endorsements, including three more Manitoba MLAs as well a former mayor and MPP in Toronto.
- Thomas Mulcair unveiled endorsements from a former MP and MPP in Northern Ontario.
- Peggy Nash released a green cities and jobs plan. And particularly noteworthy after the last few years is her proposal to set up an inventory of pre-approved infrastructure projects which could be started immediately when stimulus is needed - which would nicely avoid the obviously ludicrous focus on shovel-readiness over long-term value in the Cons' stimulus program.
- Saganash earned some positive press in a visit to Waterloo.
- And Topp unveiled new endorsements ranging from the cheeky to the more conventional.
- Finally, on the commentary side, Malcolm offered up his personal candidate rankings. Joanna Smith assembled her own roundup of policy proposals so far. And John Ivison's placement of Mulcair in the race's pole position may not be much of a surprise, but his inclusion of Dewar in an eventual camp alongside Mulcair and Nathan Cullen is a bit more interesting.