Friday, March 23, 2012

NDP Convention - Day 1

Don't know how coherent or value added this will be after a day of tweeting, thought I'd try to get a few things down here.

First of all, impressions on the afternoon's "showcases" of the candidates, as the NDP termed them. There were a lot of supplemental activities (floor demos, introductory speakers, videos) surrounding most of the presentations and I think those choices may have been overdone, at least from the perspective of someone sitting here in the hall. It's hard for me to say since I'm a critical observer, maybe the enthusiasm shown on the floor resonates with some delegates, don't know.

My impression, though, was that less was more. In that regard, Cullen who spoke first seemed to set the tone on that score. Now whether what he said was memorable enough, that's another question. And I don't recall much French speaking from him either. He did manage to use all his time wisely though and without interference.

Can't say the same about Mulcair or Nash. Their floor shows really interfered with their speeches. Not really as huge a problem for Mulcair, who is by all accounts ahead. Even though his time to speak was seriously eaten into, he managed to speak powerfully, par for the course for him. He rushed though. Neither of these problems would make much of a difference for him, I think.

Nash's time was similarly eaten up and she needed to fast forward through her teleprompted speech as a result. The speech was indeed fast forwarded, possibly intentionally, but it just didn't seem to stop at any place she could pick it up. It appeared, from in the hall, that there was a bit of a stumble there and she had to ad-lib. Not so sure how that appeared for those who were voting at home but it didn't look comfortable from here. [I have a few tweets on what happened in my tweet stream (@impolitical)]

Dewar was strong in his speech, again surrounding his presentation by a bit of a wacky floor show, at least, I think that's a fair word to use in the wake of having Charlie Angus singing on stage as a central part of your presentation. Very novel but I actually think that may have worked, reinforcing the heartfelt nature of his candidacy.

Topp had an interesting afternoon. I wonder if he threw a wrench into people's thinking at all. He was very good in French, one of the better on that fronts, of the afternoon. He has some teleprompter ability issues, not surprising given his background. Not an over cluttered speech. Went by his room earlier, there seems to be a bustling around him.

Singh and Ashton did fine, won't spend too much time here since they're not top tier by all accounts. Primo video by Singh that candidates everywhere might want to note. Ashton made a strong speech, have to give credit to a young woman for an unwavering kind of speech at a crucial moment like that.

Whether any of the speeches or presentations will change minds at this point, maybe to those paying close attention. The substantive themes all blended together, it's very hard to differentiate among them policy wise, save for some of the better known initiatives like Cullen's cooperation pitch.

It is seeming to be a well-run event thus far and well-attended. Think the action is more so on Twitter, tune in to the #ndpldr hashtag there.