Wed, 29 Oct 2003
A more-or-less faithful transcription of the televised leaders’ debate from the 2003 Saskatchewan provincial election
Premier Lorne Calvert, New Democratic Party leader, former United Church minister, still inclined to sermonise
Elwin Hermanson, Saskatchewan Party leader, farmer, free enterprise advocate, cursed with potato-shaped head
David Karwacki, Liberal Party leader, personal friend of Paul Martin, terminal lightweight
Exchange #1: Privatising Crown Corporations
CALVERT: If he is elected, Mr. Hermanson intends to privatise the Crown Corporations!
HERMANSON: Nuh-uh! You’re the one who wants to privatise the Crown Corporations…and I have the secret cabinet documents to prove it!
CALVERT: Hah! Those “secret cabinet documents” aren’t a secret at all! Everyone knows we tried to privatise the Crown Corporations!
HERMANSON: So you admit you want to privatise the Crown Corporations, just like I do!
CALVERT: No, I don’t.
HERMANSON: Neither do I!
Exchange #2: David Karwacki, Serious Leader
PANELIST: Mr. Karwacki, you’re, like, nineteen years old. Why should the people of Saskatchewan take you seriously as a political leader?
KARWACKI: Unlike the other leaders, I bring real-world business experience to the table.
KARWACKI: My successful fruit-shipping company has successfully shipped fruit all over the continent.
HERMANSON: Get over yourself, Doogie.
KARWACKI: Moreover, I am close personal friends with all our leaders in Ottawa, including Ralph, Lyle, and of course Paul.
CALVERT (interrupting): But will you stand up to your friends in Ottawa when we need to extort more money from them to support our greedy farmers?
KARWACKI: Yes! I hate my friends in Ottawa! Especially my good friend Paul, with whom I am on a first-name basis. Paul, Paul, Paul.
HERMANSON: Hah! What have you ever done for the greedy farmers of Saskatchewan?
KARWACKI: As you may recall, I personally organised a meeting between my good friends Ralph and Lyle and Premier Calvert to raise funds for our greedy farmers. And then I wasn’t even invited to the meeting! Which was, like, totally unfair.
CALVERT: Quit whining, Richie Rich. Maybe if you actually got elected to something we’d let you come to the meetings.
KARWACKI: Shut up! I’m gonna tell Paul you said that.
Exchange #3: Tax Cuts
CALVERT: Mr. Hermanson, the tax cuts you’re proposing are simply unsustainable.
HERMANSON: No, they’re not.
CALVERT: Yes, they are.
HERMANSON: Nuh-uh, they’re not, and you know who agrees with me? Your party’s own Finance Minister!
CALVERT: Everyone knows our Finance Minister is completely unreliable!
KARWACKI (interrupting): Mr. Hermanson, your whole platform is based on nothing but tax cuts!
HERMANSON: That’s not true. We also want to put our young people in boot camp.
KARWACKI: Putting our young people in boot camp will turn them into thugs!
HERMANSON: By giving our thugs tax breaks we’ll turn them into respectable citizens.
KARWACKI: Now, when I’m premier, I’ll cut your taxes by…
HERMANSON: Now, hold on. You just said you were against tax cuts!
KARWACKI: I’m not opposed to tax cuts, only the divisive tax cuts offered by your party.
HERMANSON: Watch your mouth or I’ll put you in boot camp!
Exchange #4: Negativity
PANELIST: Mr. Calvert, how do you feel about the negative nature of this campaign?
CALVERT: First off, I’ve already apologised for all my name-calling and accusations. Secondly, he’s the one being negative, not me!
HERMANSON: Your negativity disgusts me, you hypocrite!
KARWACKI: Look at all this fearmongering and divisiveness. It just makes me sad. Luckily, I’m above it all.
CALVERT: Be quiet, Junior. If there’s anyone mongering fear, it’s Mr. Hermanson – by trying to sell the Crown Corporations!
HERMANSON: I already said I’m not trying to sell the Crown Corporations!
CALVERT: And then he makes it worse by lying about it!
HERMANSON: No, you’re lying!
CALVERT: No, you are!
KARWACKI: It’s just so terribly sad. So sad I can hardly bear it. What a terrible shame. Sigh.
The Closing Statements:
CALVERT: Mr. Hermanson has a secret plan to privatise the Crown Corporations, and his tax cuts are unsustainable.
HERMANSON: I will never, ever, ever, ever privatise the Crown Corporations, and it’s time for a change.
KARWACKI: I have a beautiful wife and four angelic children, and we…
CALVERT (interrupting): I have a son too. He’s in a rock band.
HERMANSON: I have a secret plan to put Mr. Calvert’s son in boot camp!
KARWACKI: Be quiet, both of you! This is my closing statement!
HERMANSON: Go tell it to the Prime Minister, Doogie.