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Readers weigh in on lacklustre B.C. leaders’ debate

Left to right, BC Conservative Leader John Cummins, BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark, BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix and BC Green Leader Jane Sterk pose for a pre-debate photo in Vancouver, April 29, 2013.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Members of our undecided voters' panel watched the leaders' debate Monday night and discussed their reaction online all week. What follows is an edited summary of that conversation.

That was a waste of 1.5 hours of my life. Everything they have said in the debate has been said before and nothing was new. We needed someone to draw blood, but everyone held back and stuck to their comfort zone.

– Kevin Fung, Vancouver

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I was quite shocked how education wasn't even really mentioned (at least not that I noticed). I suppose no one thinks they can win points by talking about education, but it is such a huge part of the budget, and such an important issue to many voters, that it was very surprising to me to have it not mentioned at all.

– Don Rinald, Nanaimo

Caution seems to be the guiding principle and the electorate learns nothing from such a non-event. Did anyone learn more about politics in British Columbia from last night? Probably not, except that we are still bereft of inspiring leaders or inspired leadership.

– Scott Guthrie, Victoria

My impressions overall were that Jane Sterk did really well. She was on message, didn't get flustered once, and knew her and the others' party platforms inside and out. I think she scored a lot of points for her party. I was a bit concerned previously that Adrian Dix didn't have the gravitas needed to become premier. I think he proved last night that he does.

– Jill Bryant, Victoria

I am unlikely to change my vote based on the leaders debate, as no leader showed themselves to be much better or much worse than I had expected them to be.

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– Adrian Mohareb, Victoria

Christy Clark did not seem to be able to get away from the same phrases that she repeated time after time and they got annoying after a while. Politicians don't like to answer direct questions with a direct answer, but the other three made a better show of it than Ms. Clark. Mr. Dix did better than I thought he would. I was a bit confused at his answers to the pipeline issues at first, but it all came together later. I think the NDP won the debate by quite a bit. Campaign should get more interesting now.

– Larry Law, Powell River

The debate did nothing to change my mind. In fact they barely even touched the issues that matter to my family: higher education, business growth in B.C. (outside the resources sector), the childcare shortage. … Christy Clark had me screaming at the TV when she kept going on about how it's so much better to have individuals spending the money, instead of government. My husband was completely confused by Dix's responses on the pipelines/tanker traffic. I liked Jane Sterk. I wish the Greens had a chance.

– Lisa Fisher, Vancouver

Mr. Cummins displayed a high level of ignorance regarding aboriginal issues. He misrepresented both the source and implication of aboriginal title. If he has an honestly held belief of the legal reality as he stated it to be, he is too incompetent to hold office.

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– Chris Siver, Victoria

All in all it was a very timid debate, from very timid leaders, with very timid ideas. Because of this we will be the ones who lose in this election.

– Chris Dawson, Nelson

Basically I'm leaning back toward Christy Clark. She at least had a grasp of the big picture. You cannot promise millions of dollars in social spending for schools, hospitals and welfare if you don't have any industry to fund it.

– David Rumsey, Saltspring Island

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