Monday, November 29, 2010

Impressions from the Munk debate

Had an amazing time Friday night attending the Munk Debate in Toronto between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and author/journalist/iconoclast Christopher Hitchens.

The two squared off on the question as to whether or not religion was a force for good in the world.

The event left me with a couple of impressions:

1/  It was so refreshing to see two people actually debate ideas and clashing visions. What's more they used erudite, witty and coherent arguments. What a welcome change from the partisan, insipid spin doctoring that passes for political debate in this country. 

Here's what we usually get:

Liberal: You're a bully!

Conservative: You're a wimp!

NDP:  Let's raise taxes on the rich!

2/  I expected left-wing demonstrators prior to the event and was not disappointed, they were there with their placards, megaphones and newsletters. What did surprise me however, was the inanity of the protests. Here's one of their actual chants: "Liar, liar pants on fire."

I mean come on, with all those arts grants the government throws around, you would think these guys could come up with something a little more creative.

Also, they kept shouting, slogans about "Getting out of Iraq". Isn't that a little passe, a little too 2003? 

Maybe, as my friend Rondi Adamson put it, they just couldn't come up with anything that rhymed with Afghanistan.

 I wonder why these "peace activists" weren't protesting North Korean aggression? Oh yeah, I forgot North Korea isn't America or Israel.

3/ The event was also a reminder of the sad state of the times. As a security precaution, all the debate spectators had to be searched. That didn't bother me so much, as did the fact that they confiscated my Swiss Chalet toblerone chocolates! Since when is chocolate dangerous? Fattening yes, dangerous no.


Anonymous said...

Well said, Mr. Nicholls. If we had Blair vs. Hitchins style debate for at least a month in our political discourse, we would feel so much better about ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Chocolate is dangerous in the mouths of the wrong people! (real conservative)

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Blair's memoir A Journey - My Political Life very much. The leftists also had demonstrations outside the bookstores who had book signings.

Anonymous said...

At least these "demonstartors" were not able to force the debate to be cancelled unlike a few events held at universities.

I suspect they took your chocolate because they wanted you to buy the $4 candy bars at their concession booths. I would have stuffed the whole thing in my mouth right in front of them and gave them the wrapper.