The French language debate was a very interesting debate in some ways superior to the English language debate because the issue of national unity was discussed in very revealing ways and the issues of unemployment, poverty and social policy got a better airing than in the English language debate. Was there a clear winner? No. But one has to say that once again Jack Layton did well on several issues and Michael Ignatieff did very well on the issue of national unity and scolding Gilles Duceppe for not moving with the times and understanding there was little interest in constitutional questions in 2011. Duceppe had a good come back which is well documented in Quebec. Things can change very quickly. Since the PQ can easily become the Government of Quebec in a year or two and remains committed to sovereignty this issue can arise again. The debate on this issue revealed once again the potential pitfalls of the deux nations strategy that all the federalist leaders have more or less signed onto. When you say that Quebec is a nation its political leadership expects and will demand the trappings of nationhood something that will not go down well in English speaking Canada. On the whole though his French is very serviceable, Stephen Harper in his effort to play a quiet role was largely absent from the debate and in my view did not not accomplish much in advancing the Conservative cause in Quebec. Duceppe defended his turf reasonably well but I suspect that the debate will weaken his hold on certain Bloc voters who might well defect to the NDP. The Liberals probably held their own and Ignatieff might well be viewed more favourably than before the debate although because of the residual distrust of the Liberals after Gomery and the provincial Government's unpopularity they have a steep hill to climb to regain their Quebec popularity.