Last night's televised provincial leaders debate provided great theatre for political junkies.
But I'm guessing that many British Columbians tuned out long before the broadcast ended.
That's because it's hard to take the political parties' marketing messages that seriously.
NDP Leader Adrian Dix drove that point home when he accused B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark of "running a fact-free campaign".
That's because Clark promises more jobs and a debt-free B.C.—as she has presided over a significant increase in debt and a drop in employment since she launched the B.C. Jobs Plan.
Meanwhile, Green Leader Jane Sterk reinforced the shallowness of the NDP campaign by noting that things might be "marginally better" if Dix's party wins the election.
Under an NDP government, welfare recipients will receive a $20 per month raise, which will hardly put a dent in child poverty. People on income assistance will also receive annual cost-of-living increases if Dix becomes premier. Whoop-de-do.
Because the Greens and B.C. Conservatives aren't likely to form government, their platforms haven't been subjected to the same level of scrutiny.
Sterk and B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins like to act like they have more integrity than the others, but their policies can also be picked apart.
The Green Book declares that the party has a key goal of getting the province off oil and gas.
The B.C. Greens also promise to conserve more forests, withhold tenure agreements for unconventional oil and gas developments until "all environmental liabilities and health concerns are addressed", and maintain a key goal of establishing a moratorium on new gas exploration and drilling.
Keep in mind that the B.C. government is expected to pull in about $900 million in resource revenues from forestry and the oil and gas industries.
Even though the Greens would likely drive down those resource revenues, they want to expand Medical Services Plan coverage to "include preventative treatments such as chiropractic, physiotherapy, eye exams, and massage therapy".
But there is no budget plan in the Green Book for voters to evaluate. Maybe because the numbers don't add up.
Meanwhile, the B.C. Conservatives plan to phase out the carbon tax over four years. It will bring in more than $1.2 billion to the treasury this year.
Cummins has claimed that "new revenues" will offset this massive revenue shortfall. But he bases them on impossible-to-achieve economic-growth projections in an era marked by sustained high oil prices.
It's hard not to feel that all four provincial leaders are insulting voters' intelligence.
But hey, last night's debate revealed that they all look pretty good when they dress up to go on TV.