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The Hamilton Spectator
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Thursday September 20, 2007
When the lights come on and the cameras roll Thursday on the first and only televised debate of the Ontario election campaign, the focus likely won't be on policies, but which of the show's three stars look and sound like more than just a guy in a nice suit.

Voters who tune in will be looking for the candidate who looks the most like a premier, said image guru Bernie Gauthier of Delta Media in Ottawa.

"The delivery and the body language matters at least as much as the words," Gauthier said in an interview.

"In our political culture, we put a fair bit of (importance) into the debates. It's fraught with risk; wearing the wrong things, losing your cool, mispronouncing (words), all of a sudden that can chip away at your image, chip away at the confidence that people have in you."

In a campaign that has so far seemed focused more on style than substance, it stands to reason that for Premier Dalton McGuinty, Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory and NDP Leader Howard Hampton, Thursday night's debate is all about delivery.

For example, speaking too fast could make a candidate's message hard to understand, or even worse, make him appear nervous, Gauthier said. Source...

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