MY IMPRESSION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

Manigat and Martelly, Haitian presidential candidate

I spent over one hour or two watching this Haitian presidential debate on www.Haitinetradio.com, having put on stage the two candidates -Martelly and Manigat –who will be on the ballot on March 20. I am going to try to give you my impression of it.

I am not sure what the organizers were trying to achieve with the event and whether or not they reached the objective, but to tell you the truth, it was a waste of time. To me, that was not a political debate; it was more of an exhibition of knowledge –I know more than you do in this field and all this nonsense.  

I think, for a first debate, Martelly did well. He just needs to work on his posturing a little, which is something that can come with practice. This is our first experience with political debates in our political culture, so this is new to almost all of these politicians.

Martelly did exactly what he came out to do, and that was to keep his votes. He did not win nor lose any as a result of his performance, which I think was a little too abrasive.  

We knew from the start that he was not going to be more rhetorical than Manigat, a university professor. That is undisputable. However, one thing he did better than his opponent was that he answered the questions in a way to allow him to have a better connectivity with the people.

Throughout the debate, Martelly inspired confidence in his answers, which I think was his major highlight. I like his toughness; I would feel safer with him driving me than I would with Manigat.

I don’t know what Manigat’s strategy was, but it was not to win votes. She came to show off her intellectual superiority; I don’t think that’s what the people wanted to see from her since they already knew about her intellect.

She failed short to connect with the people. She was boring, and her answers were too rhetorical for the average Haitian Joe in Cite Soleil and across the country to even come close to comprehend. So she missed the goal big time.

At some point in the debate, I had the impression she was talking to her university students, not to the people whose votes she desperately needs. I would hire her over Martelly to be my professor, but not my president.

Where Haiti is right now, we need a tough guy figure or a no-nonsense type of guy to be on the wheel driving the people. We don’t need another weak head like Preval -with no real power to get the country back on track and restore the authority of the state.

We must not make the mistake of seeing these political debates through the perspective of American politics. Staging political debates is a new concept to all of us, including these politicians. So let’s not be too demanding.

Both candidates did fine, but Martelly resonated better with the people. He did what he came out to achieve. Manigat appeared more like a teacher in a lecture hall than a politician trying to win the hearts of the voters, which was Al Gore’s problem in 2000 and Kerry’s in 2004, explaining the reason why Bush won over the two of them.

Overall, the debate was a waste of time. In a sense, it was positive in that it will show the two candidates what they need to work on for next time. Martelly just needs to work on his temper and protocol big time; Manigat needs to work on her ability to communicate in a language the people in the street can relate to. If I were to choose a winner, it would be Martelly for the simple fact that he achieved what he came out to do.

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9 comments on “MY IMPRESSION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

  1. My thought exactly Emann!!! I said it earlier on someone’s’page! When it comes to connecting to the people, buying their trust, showing confidence, Martelly did an awesome job! Mme Manigat spoke well,but she needed music on her tone!!! li telman pale tankou yon poul mouri, yon granmoune kap fini,she demonstrates lack of confidence and uncertainty! Peup la renmen moune ki djanm!!!! Mme Manigat te tankou yon moune kap trepasse!

    Michel needs to work on his temper! Li semble li te trop excite! I hated the fact that he was saying “mwen we’w” to one of the journalists! Ce yon debat kap fet, de ki previen lap salue lot moune larrrr? I hope they are working o working with him on certain protocols he needs to maintain!!!!

    For those of you reading me, fanatik granmoune nan, internet soldiers granmoune nan, aswea, li fe nou honte! Li di, li pa bezwen moune fe rumor pou li, she is NOT behind these rumors spreading online! Mwen swete nou ramasse nez nou ki tombe!

  2. Nan Debat Mirlande Ak Micky,Eleve Micky Tonbe Recite Lesson Yo Ecri Bali San Rete,Tankou On Robo,Li Vin’n Ap Parle De ”Haute Cour De Justice”
    Professe Mirlande,Mande Ti Eleve La Ki Sa Vle Di ..”Haute Cour De Justice”
    Eleve Micky Pran Mamote,Robo A Tonbe An Pan’n Courant

  3. I enjoyed your Ekspoze. Well done! But I still feel that Although I am supporter of Martelly, I wasn’t impressed with his first presidential debate. This one clearly goes to Manigat. The man must learn to control his temper. It is time that Micky understands that HE IS NOT a comedian, but a candidate for Commander In Chief! My goodness…SMH

  4. If I were to declare a winner,I’d say they both won or lost. Michel J Martelly could have won this debate clearly. Cependant, his body language and temper were a major problem throughout this debate. Yes, he stayed on point w/his answers but;he most definitely needs to compose himself. This is a Presidential debate. This is not being on stage acting funny. He also had no right to say to one of the journalists ” Ou met kite’l. Mwen konnin se voye yo voye-l,etc–.” Not the place and time in this heated election. Seems to me he had doubts about those journalists. And it is perfectly fined to have such doubts but,keep it to yourself or discuss it after in private with your staff. One last thing about him: He needs to stop attacking her personality or knowledge ’cause she’ll corner him in that area. We already know she has that knowledge. And he must stay away from that but,tackle the issues at hand.
    Now,mme Manigat—She looked extremely professional. My 1st complain to mme Manigat: Where was the Haitian flag pin uh chère madame? 2nd–She needs to sale her products to the Nation. She sounded she was giving a lecture to some high class students. She doesn’t have that charisma at all. Was it some sort of “I believe in my ability or they already know who I am?” If that’s how she sees it,she fails. Se pa tout élèv primaire kap konpran-n li ’cause she sounded very high class with her expressions. She needs to go direct to the problems. Sound to me she was teaching w/out writing anything on the board—-
    For a 1st Presidential debate,I’m hoping that both parties took notes. And the Journalists need to keep their questions short and sweet. The old man was asking questions while explaining himself again. He ran out of time many times—

    At last,both candidates need to respect the moderator once she said time is up or once the bell rings—-
    I look forward to see a better Presidential debate before the election ’cause this one was somewhat a disaster

  5. This review is so objective. Martelly’s term will be over before he knows how to be presidential, before he can be respected internationally and do anything in Haiti. Se kom si nap mande flavor flave to act presidential. Smh. Manigat will be too busy speaking eloquently before she does anything in Haiti. I don’t see what most of you are sweating, this election is all about choosing the lesser of two evils. You may as well throw a coin and hope for the best.

  6. Not to forget that Michel sounded a little bit too cocky. He needs to relax within these last few days that are left—and drive this baby home safely.
    He must stop this slogan “Nou gin mass peuple lan avec nou.”

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