While the "debate" was in fact a series of interviews and closing statements, had little variation, and was essentially as dull as watching paint try for the vast majority of Canadians - I actually liked it.
The "Davos-style interviews," as it was described at some point, were pretty standardized. All nine candidates were asked questions in the same themes - those being crime, foreign takeovers, natural resources, and trade - with slight variations on the questions asked. Some were asked about pipelines, others were asked about supply management, others about what kind of foreign company should be allowed to take over Canadian companies, etc. It allowed for easy comparison between the different candidates on the different themes, though as I said, it was pretty freggin' dull for anyone happening to come across this by accident. But, hey, I found it interesting.
There isn't much to say about the actual interviewees, however. Except for Karen McCrimmon, who had an Idle No More drummer interrupt her midway through her interview (and they tried to keep talking, which failed immensely), no one said anything and nothing happened that could be considered exciting. The media seems to agree.
But, it did help expand some of the candidate's platforms on these fairly hot and vital topics. Trudeau, often accused of (including by me) being a policy lightweight, talked at length on these four topics that I'd invite you to watch, you can click here. He impressed me quite a bit with his knowledge and answers. If this is the guy that's going to lead our party (and by all accounts, he seems to be heading towards that), I'm not going to have an issue with him - so long as he doesn't stick his foot in his mouth again.
The person I was most interested in, though. ended up being Martha Hall Findlay - you can watch her segment here. The biggest question asked of her was about supply management, her position being antagonistic towards it. Just before her, Martin Cauchon and another candidate (I forgot who) had thrown their support behind it and attacked her position indirectly. However, when Hall Findlay came out to defend her position on supply management, I found myself in 100% agreement with what she was saying. You'll have to watch to see what I mean, but personally, my interest in her campaign has grown tenfold. I like it when people make sense.
I should also mention that, while I was disappointed at the lack of a debate in Alberta or Saskatchewan, and the lack of attention to any questions surrounding how the Liberals will rebuild our party in the West (policy questions are great, but I want questions about how people will pay attention to party organization as well - they're running to be Party Leader first and foremost), I did appreciate Harvey Locke's presence there as the interviewer, and the focus on Western policy issues. Locke did a good job, as did those that set up the debate.
The next debate, to be held in