Am I the only one who watches Peter Mansbridge and Wendy Mesley on election night and thinks there’s something else going on? Every time he throws to her and she peers at him over those sexy granny glasses, you gotta know those two are back 20 years ago, necking behind the Front Page Challenge flats. You can almost hear the dialogue really going on in their heads. “Yes, the Tories are getting spanked in Quebec—just like I used to spank you in Ontario.”
I keeeed. CBC did a very good job covering the election, I thought, sticking to a clean and simple set, dispensing with the old-fashioned big board maps. Gone, too, was the dramatic, you are there approach, with Mansbridge ensconced in the House of Parliament. All that gimmicky satellite stuff gets old fast as the night drags on.
It did look a bit CNN, a bit Reach For The Top up there at times. Poor Rick Mercer stuck all night on the panel, perhaps making Keith Boag or Rex Murphy his new Facebook friends. At least they didn't cram a few Dragon Denners up there, or Steven and Chris.
There was the usual rush to judgement on early returns. Brampton babe Ruby Dhalla was declared dead, for example, after 38 people voted. She ended up winning easily. Meanwhile, it took an hour just to see how leaders other than Elizabeth May were doing in their own ridings.
Kudos to CBC, however, for not jumping the gun by declaring another Harper minority too soon. Global National couldn’t wait, announcing a conservative minority government at 9:42 P.M. ET, 12 minutes after the polls closed in Ontario and well before voters were finished casting ballots in B.C. CTV made their call at 9:47.
As Peter Mansbridge said well after 10, hold on. So many ridings were still showing paper thin leads. As it turned out, Harper didn’t miss his majority by much.
The national totals and riding by riding info was all neat and tidy, easy to read. Missing perhaps was some passion and unpredictability. Sure things were tense early, but why not throw to Mercer for a quick quip? He could have offered to skinny dip with the new Liberal leader.
Boag was perhaps the most fun to watch early. He got a little freaked when the Liberals failed to break big in the east. Of all the CBCers on the Reach For The Top desk, he seemed to get it that Harper was going to come dangerously close to turning the CBC headquarters into Toronto's newest Wal-Mart.
My 15-year-old came down after 10, saw the totals, declared it all a big fat waste of time and money and promptly switched over to Robot Chicken. Guess he was backing the Seth Green party.