In terms of expected drama tonight, the U.S. Vice-Presidential debate beats the Canadian federal leaders debate. There could be surprises in the English debate with the five leaders - a debate moment where an emotion driven, or planned, or well-timed remark hammers an opponent - the type that makes the famous moments in political debates. Harper seemed to be fairly cool last night as his four attackers made it clear to the public that his lead needed some knocking down. Unless a new pronounced scandal of national significance is weighing on the shoulders of Harper, there will be the usual expected attacks from opponents in the debate, and afterwards the status quo will exist in the polls.
The U.S. debate is highly anticipated not because the VPs significantly affect the eventual selection of the President, but because people have seen candidate Sarah Palin have George Bush moments in interviews, not knowing basic information, and are waiting to see if she will get caught again and look unprepared for the big job. Joe Biden has done well in debates and could pummel her. On the other hand media reports that Palin is a good debater and has the public speaking skills to make toast out of opponents. However, if she makes reference to her belief, at least once held belief that dinosaurs and people co-existed 6000 years ago, then she will be a baked Alaskan.
When there is something weak about an opponent, or his or her government is tied to some controversial event or topic which had shook the nation, then the potential drama builds. Tonight's Canadian debate would normally have more viewers because it's in English, but it has southern competition. If last night's French-Canadian debate was any indication, it will be another slug fest, and somewhat confusing flurry of cross-fire interruptions - poor interpreters. That's another thing, when translaters are doing their job, but the camera is still showing one leader speak, it is uncertain sometimes who the interrupter was. Anyway, which debate to watch? Which will be more dramatic? We'll know afterwards and that may be up for debate.