Wed, 29 Oct 2003

A more-or-less faithful transcription of the televised leaders’ debate from the 2003 Saskatchewan provincial election

The cast:

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!


CALVERT: Uh-huh!

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!


CALVERT: Uh-huh!

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.


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