In keeping with the election, for those who missed it, the English Language debate Monday provided us with some insight into the Party Leaders skills.
The winner was Jagmeet Singh. He was on top of his game. Singh knew what his message was, he was relaxed and was clearly enjoying the interaction.
He also had the line of the night.It was in reference to climate change and how we deal with it. He referred to Scheer and Trudeau as Mr. Deny and Mr. Delay and it struck the funny bone of the nation.
Second and a close second was Elizabeth May. She is formidable but last night she was overshadowed by Singh’s performance. The biggest thing May has is her ability to force her opponent back onto shaky ground before providing the last piece of debating skills.
Strong performance indeed.
Justin Trudeau was saved last night by Andrew Scheer. I say that because at first Trudeau looked like a sacked quarterback with nowhere to go. He weathered the storm and did so in a manner that made Scheer look like an over-staged actor in a nineteen forties B movie. Trudeau won third last night, but third is all he needs.
Andrew Scheer came out swinging making his accusations and chiding the Prime Minister for his political sins. When you feign the fact you are truly indignant it shows. After the flurry – all there was – rehearsed regurgitated rhetoric. When that happens listeners begin to see the difference. Trudeau a skilled Prime Minister debating a rookie who is trying too hard. One moment where he was sincere was when he commended Jagmeet Singh for his perseverance facing life’s challenges as a person of color and a minority in Canada.
Fifth place goes to Mr. Blanchet of the Bloc. I disagree with almost everything. I have to acknowledge he was a talented competitor, even in a setting using his second language. There were times he was more convincing than Scheer.
Last place goes to Maxime Bernier. Not because of his over all performance but for the message he sends. Nationalism is not a long suit in this country. His message may resonate with a segment of the discontented but not with a majority of Canadians.
All in all it was an evening that shed some light on where our leaders want to go. It gave undecided voters some contrast and it provided a possible outcome. As the saying goes it ain’t over till it’s over but at the present rate all Trudeau has to do is ignore Scheers hostile attacks and stick to his program and he comes out with at least a minority. That is unless there is one more surprise. In that case Justine will get a majority. I say that because years ago things were much the same and the Conservatives ran an add campaign critical of Jean Chretien’s partly paralyzed mouth. End of game -Jean got his majority.
In this election the Conservatives are on an uphill climb. The other opposition parties are very unlikely to support a Conservative minority. There is a French Language debate later in the week. For undecided voters it will likely tell the story, if you understand the second language.