The Would-Be Leaders’ Debate

Photos courtesy of CBC

Okay, I know a journalist has a responsibility to his readers to sit through unpleasant stuff so they don’t have to, but I could only stomach enough of the leadership debate to confirm my opinion that this is by far the most useless election in recent Canadian history. I have no opinions to give on the political issues involved because they do not help to distinguish one party from the next.

However, the tenor of the debate certainly confirmed my opinion of the quality (or lack thereof) in the leaders I was forced to listen to. Here it comes, folks.

Justin Trudeau

One political expert I heard interviewed stated that every election is in some way a referendum on the record of the incumbent. This being the case, I do not see one shred of evidence that Trudeau has learned anything in the slightest from his first term in office and the mistakes thereof.  On the other hand, he’s no worse than a handful of others of his ilk who have run the country, so I’d give him the nod for a caretaker minority government to hold on until some real leadership shows up. His main problem in this election will be to get enough of his supporters out to vote for him.

The Irony

Proportional representation often produces minority governments, but not always. The way the numbers look, if Trudeau could say, “I kept my promise to all the voters,” he’d be cruising to a majority right now.

Andrew Scheer

Everything I saw at the debate confirms my opinion that Andrew Scheer, completely apart from his social conservatism and his slavish adherence to supply-side economics, is a despicable person. He is unacceptably rude, and then he stands there with a smug grin, grandstanding to a nasty, selfish section of the population who believe that an election is a battle and the biggest bully should get to rule; Canadians are entitled to what they have and to hell with needs of the rest of the world. He reminds me of the schoolyard bully who antagonizes another student to the point of retaliation, then runs inside crying, “He started it,” smirking from behind the teacher while the other kid gets in trouble. The real Conservatives of Canada deserve a better leader.

The “I Fooled Them” Smirk

Interesting research on how to tell a liar; the involuntary smile often gives them away. I watched a video of a woman who had killed her children. She had just finished a tearful rendition of what happened, and suddenly she smiled: completely inappropriate and scary. The whole video is worth watching, but the murderer showing “duping delight” is near the end. It is the same smirk we see on a certain politician’s face.

Maxim Bernier

This guy appeals to an even nastier wingnut fringe of the right wing, and the more votes he takes away from Scheer the better. I wish him rotsa ruck.

Jagmeet Singh

Every time I hear him speak he sounds better. He deserves the time in parliament for people to get to know him. A great solution to racial prejudice is for people to get to know and respect an individual of that race. “Jag” needs the chance to hold the reins of power in a minority government, to show whether he has the right stuff.

Yves-François Blanchet 

As the leader of a provincial separatist movement, Blanchet’s only reason to be on the stage is the democratic right every citizen of the country has to be represented. He is a constant reminder to the ROC that the Quebec question has been shelved and not solved.

Elizabeth May

The voice crying in the wilderness to save the wilderness didn’t get much chance to speak, but she needs to be there and she needs to be heard.

The Bottom Line

One of the “undecided voters” interviewed on CBC said they all sounded like a bunch of children squabbling. Part of the responsibility for this, I believe, falls at the feet of the moderators. They did step in at times, but I don’t think having four (or was it five?) different people moderating allows the moderator a chance to take command of the situation and truly control the interchange of ideas.






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