There was no major faux pas by any of the leaders and no major points scored. There was no winner as such.
Adrian Dix generally did a good job of looking like the premier of BC and avoided going negative in a way that would have been easy to do. He was weak on some of his answers, especially when it came to oil tankers. I was honestly amazed at how much airtime the twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline got in the debate.
John Cummins made some ok points but was generally forgettable most of the time. With pipelines and tankers he certainly laid out the clearest difference between the BC Conservatives and everyone else in the room. I did not get a sense of passion or aggressiveness on his part, He has done better in some interviews in the last week but in this debate I do not feel he added much.
What I liked about Jane Sterk's performance in the debate is that she really made sure some of the questions were answered. Gary Mason of the Globe summed it up well on Twitter
I think Sterk has been impressive in this debate, only jumping in when she's had a salient point to make.
As did David Schreck
Though I do not think she did enough to make a dramatic difference to the fortunes of the Greens and a few positive tweets in the #bcpoli realm is not going to sway the people needed to make a difference.
Finally there was Anti-Adrian Dix (that is really a better name for Christy Clark). How do I even begin to talk about someone that is not even interested in trying to look like she is campaigning in a serious and respectful way? It really bothers me that her approach is one that assumes the public is stupid and hamfisted 1960s marketing will win the election. I can not think of a single positive or respectful thing she said in the debate.
So what does this "dress rehearsal" for Monday mean?
I think the NDP is going to work hard to get a better answer to the tankers and pipelines issue.
I suspect the Liberals are not going to change anything because even though they have all this evidence that their campaign strategy is not working they seem to want to continue on the same course. Two quotes come to mind "the beatings will continue until morale improves" and "advertising is the admission of the failure of originality"
John Cummins needs a knock on Monday and I am not sure he has it in him or format will allow it. He needs to stand out somehow.
Finally, on Jane Sterk, since I am one of the people giving her advice on this, I will respectfully decline to say what I am planning on telling her.