Canadians should watch Political Debates as if they are job interviews.
After all, what we’re really doing is deciding who will manage our funds, our future and even the laws that will govern our lives for up to the next five years.
Canada’s federal annual Budget, due to the Covid pandemic, now tops $650 BILLION! The deficit is running over $350 BILLION; the total debt is more than $1 TRILLION!
And the Leader and party elected Sept. 20 will decide how/where all that will be spent and how WE are going to pay for it.
They will also what new laws, rules, regulations, restrictions should be imposed on us … and, hopefully, what new benefits we may see as well.
Make no mistake about it: elections are about hiring those who will have great impact on our lives.
Thursday’s English Language debate (and Wednesday’s French language debate) had five applicants for the top job: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau; Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole; NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh; Green Leader Annamie Paul; and, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet.
Having watched both these interview sessions in their entirety, plus another French language more limited debate last week, I still came away with no clear decision, on who would singularly be best for the Prime Minister’s job.
BUT I did evaluate only two candidates as realistically being up to the task of FILLING the top job: Trudeau and O’Toole.
Singh offered everything to everyone: a platform that proposes a “vision”, but that lacks details of exactly what/how the NDP would provide national pharmacare; daycare; dental care; 500,000 affordable housing units; comprehensive new environmental controls; and, a huge increase in First Nations’ programs and spending.
You name it, the NDP Leader promised it. Christmas in September!
BUT as other candidates pointed out, Singh and the NDP have not fully costed out their platform! That is, they haven’t said exactly how all their promises would be paid for … other than “make the billionaires and Amazon pay their fair share”.
Sorry, in 2021, that’s just not a good enough job performance for any Leader or party that wants to take over governing the country. Surprising that they thought they could even get away with that!
Singh personally came across well as caring, compassionate, highly sympathetic to the plight of so many Canadians … a nice guy to sit down and talk political philosophy, life experiences.
Not ready for the top job!
Blanchet was interesting, sometimes amusing … a man in search of a divisive issue to bolster his campaign in Quebec.
But for most of the country, irrelevant.
Paul impressed: she was articulate, well prepared, personable … and no doubt benefitted from Canadians being able to hear her on Green policies, her background, beliefs, struggles … instead of the ongoing turmoil engulfing her executive team and party supporters.
Not a serious contender for Prime Minister’s job.
So we’re down to two serious candidates to lead the country.
Trudeau, in my view, was not at his best: he seemed nervous, even harried … but he was fast and effective on his feet and also had some pretty good pre-scripted lines aimed at O’Toole.
And he did get a number of chances to remind Canadians how he/Liberals “had their back” and doled out lots of support/programs during the pandemic, is committed to fighting climate change and funding $10 daycare right across the country.
On more than one occasion, Trudeau flashed some passion … a strong point of his, as he chastised O’Toole for promising to get 90% of Canadians vaccinated, but hasn’t even been able to get 90% of his own candidates vaccinated.
Effective? Sept. 20 will tell.
Because O’Toole also did well: considering he was largely unknown by most voters before the campaign.
Overall impression: he did fit the casting call as a Prime Minister … and that helped establish his credibility for filling the job. Seemed confident, competent and credible too … and, although very accountant-like, lacking much passion … at least he was not as cold, scary as some previous Conservative leaders.
O’Toole was also successful in rubbing Trudeau’s nose in the early election call, the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the failure to obtain the release of the two Michaels, and his weak dealing with China’s aggression, Uighur genocide and Hong Kong suppression.
But I doubt either of the top two candidates impressed enough independent-minded Canadians to be guaranteed the top job.
What Canada really should have, after the all-candidate debates, is one more: a RUNOFF final debate … bilingual … featuring ONLY the two leaders who lead the national public opinion polls one week before Election Day.
That be interesting and even allow for a decent exchange of policies/ideas … not just sound bites
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