Scheer Scores Body Blows, But Trudeau Remains Standing

The most comforting thing about the federal leaders’ debate … was that at least none of the candidates for Canada’s top job came across as possibly certifiably emotionally disturbed … a la Donald Trump!

Of course, that also made the two-hour event less interesting, exciting and entertaining than many would have liked.

But true to tradition, each leader did deliver his or her pre-scripted rehearsed “zingers” … which the mainstream media faithfully, on cue, “reported” afterwards.

Yet cutting through it all, it was possible to reach some pretty clear conclusions … while keeping it real at the same time.

No doubt, in my mind, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has lost the glow, the charisma and the shiny new-product flashiness that allowed him to float above the fray in the last election.

But I felt he did score points with many voters, especially younger ones (if any were watching), through his repeated emphasis on middle class tax cuts and also his determination to tackle climate change and environmental issues.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, however, scored some pretty good blows against Trudeau … on taxes, small business breaks and especially over the firing of former Attorney General Jody Wilson Raybould.

However, the best news for Scheer, I felt, was that if there had been any concerns that People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier would steal away many votes from the Tories, that did NOT happen.

As for the rest of them … though interesting, informed and even inspiring … especially for their own supporters … they were ALL clearly just “extras” on the main stage, feeding “setup” lines to the two celebrity stars of the show.

Thursday, they’ll do it all again … in French … at 5 p.m. Pacific.

Too bad it won’t just feature Trudeau/Scheer going toe to toe, one on one.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow me @harveyoberfeld on Twitter to get FREE First Alerts of all new postings on this BC-based blog. )

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17 Responses to Scheer Scores Body Blows, But Trudeau Remains Standing

  1. Gilbert says:

    Justin Trudeau didn’t look very confident to me. I think he knows he’s in trouble!

    (Edited…off topic.)

  2. 13 says:

    Well its over. The first English debate and Trudeaus political career. The multiple moderators were a hoot. The last one from the CBC may as well just turned off 5 mikes and spent the segment telling Trudeau how much she admired his hair. She knows that Harper er I mean Scheer and the cons are not public TV supporters. Scheer should do a Trudeau but instead of the Al Jolson routine he could come out with a Stephen Harper mask. Scheers crack that Justin run for leader of the Ontario Liberal party was funny.
    Scheer stood out.
    Singh came in a distant second.
    Max and the separatist were non entities
    May is a Trudeau cheerleader
    Trudeau has lost more than his shine and charisma he has likely lost his job

  3. hawgwash says:

    I expected very little, my expectations were met and I surprised myself by watching the whole thing.

    Trudeau lost me, months ago, on the SNC file, so it’s easy to be critical. I thought “phony” came through strongly. His audition coach and script supervisor did a good job with him.

    I would not vote Conservative if my own offspring were running, yet I found Scheer to be more composed than I expected. I didn’t see “creepy.”

    I watched the two Frenchmen with curious interest, simply because I’ve never really seen them or knew who they were. I doubt Bernier will be a factor, at all, but Blanchet, or more precisely the QC voters, could be a real wild card. In whose favor, I don’t know.

    I think Singh, established some profile and I now understand his explanation of the (lawyerly) position on Bill 21, though I think Trudeau trumped them all, by being “the only one who will look at it” even though that is standard procedure.

    Elizabeth May was Elizabeth May. If only others had her fire and commitment to something other than power and puppet masters.

    I really doubt this theatre moved many undecideds and as much as I don’t like the idea, I think Trudeau might pull it off; unless the latest whispered rumors see daylight.

    I’ll be voting on Friday then can just sit back and watch, without frustration.

    (Response: I think Scheer did fairly well as far as getting out his promises/message(s) … and he had a couple of great rehearsed lines, but he came across a bit weak on the environment, women’s rights and Bill 21 … and I didn’t feel with the UNDECIDED he overcame Trudeau’s presence/stature. h.o.)

  4. Harry Lawson says:


    I missed the first 5 minutes of the debate. As many know I am a social conservative . Let’s keep it real the winner tonite was both Trudeau and Singh. . Mr Scheer was to pasticy .he seemed very uncomftorble at times . In my opinion Mr Singh hit the most home runs . Mr Singh appeared the most sincere

    (Response: Singh handled some of the issues quite generously … easy to promise everything to everyone when you know you won’t be forming government. But he really looked BAD on Bill 21 .. very weak … and I really believe he, and Scheer too, pushed anyone wanting Ottawa to do SOMETHING challenging that discriminatory attack on human rights more towards voting Liberal. h.o.)

  5. Crankypants says:

    I don’t think that today’s debate was enough to sink anyone or put anyone over the top. The format was not well designed for anyone to really flesh out their platforms. Just generalities.

    CBC News ran a two hour follow up which featured all six participants holding separate media scrums which was probably more informative No sure how many people stuck around to see that portion.

    I wouldn’t be crowning Scheer or writing off Trudeau unless the rumors of more indiscretions by Trudeau are unveiled. There may be something to this occurring. Jon McComb and a Corus affiliate in Alberta had a one hour simulcast phone in segment last Monday. During the proceedings the Alberta host alluded to more ammo in the Conservatives’ arsenal that would be released at the appropriate time.

    There was also a story posted on Puget Sound Radio on the Friday or Saturday before the McComb segment that purported to show the Trudeau boys riding on the backs of two Kenyan youngsters who were on all fours. I couldn’t tell by the photo if these were indeed Pierre’s sons or if anything was photoshopped. The article was credited to some source that I never heard of. I should have written it down because the article was removed the next day for some reason. Was it fake news or premature posting. Your guess is as good as mine.

  6. D. M. Johnston says:

    Did not change how I am going to vote and I doubt the debate will change anyone from their pathway to the voting booth.

    At least we have a legitimate independent running in my riding and he is not wearing a tin-foil hat!

    Seriously, the debate format and the presenters was somewhat poor, but there was no knockout punch.

  7. Gene The Bean says:

    Harvey, why do you think that Bernier wont be taking the ‘best and brightest’ from the Cons?

    (Response: I thought Bernier came across as too strident, too radical … and he was very pushy … almost to the point of rudeness. For conservative-leaning voters, I thought Scheer looked/sounded positively statesmanlike in comparison. h.o.)

  8. hawgwash says:

    Completely agree with your response to Gene

  9. BMCQ says:

    I managed to hear as much of the Debate as possible this AM .

    Far too much phony symbolism regarding the Climate Change Sham issue, again Canada barely contributes 1% of Carbon Emissions, how stupid do the May, Singh, PM Justin Campaigns think the Hard Working, Over Taxed Canadian Tax Payer really are .

    Why do Media and Moderators allow CC to take up such a large part of the Debate when people are being gouged with Carbon Tax, Hydro Tax, Gas Tax, Tax On Tax, when they commute an hour each way to work each day .

    Why are Media continuing to promote the silly Climate Change theme when China and India do nothing for 30 years for the Paris Sham Accord ?

    May appears to me to now be nothing less than ATM Machine Spitting Out Slogans she feels will play to her base which for now includes Students from all ages thanks to the indoctrination by School /Teachers K – University .

    Singh is sincere in what he is selling and more than likely a nice man but the NDP Slot their own throat when the appointed him Leader for silly symbolic PC reasons . Singh would have more than likely have made a competent Cabinet Minister in the soon to be past Liberal Government .

    Max is correct about much of what his Immigration Plank puts forward but he has shown that he puts his ego and his own need for power ahead of Canada and Canadians. He has very quickly become a victim of his own hunger for power and recognition .

    It was all said in the opening statement by Andrew Scheer, your current PM Justin “Edward Scissor Hands” is a Bully, a Pathological Liar, broke the Law, Disrespected the Parliament, Sexist, a Groper and probably much worse, On the Take, a Climate Change Hypocrite, disrespectful to Female Cabinet Members and MP’s, and in spite of his many costumes and disguises he is very transparent, he is a FRAUD and deserves to be treated the same way he treated JWR .

    PM Justin proved himself to also be Desperate by attempting to use the Boogeyman argument of connecting Conservative Premiers to Scheer .

    PM Justin should realize that all of those Evil Conservatives were voted in because the Hard Working Over Taxed Citizens in those many Provinces were and are tired of Failed NDP and Liberal Policies and Governments . How stupid of him, he in fact does him and his party harm by bringing up Conservative Provincial Governments .

    I am well aware that most on this Blog don’t like Scheer and they put of weak and impotent arguments to discredit Scheer but trust me, the Tax Payer knows best .

    I feel very strongly that the Polling provided that shows the Conservatives are neck and neck with the Liberals is about as accurate as PM Justin was when he stated that he DID NOT attempt to Influence the AttorneybGeneral of Canada .

    Scheer proved to be statesman like, competent, forth coming, he answered questions directly and he did not attempt to hide behind phony fraudulent symbolism favored by May, Singh, and PM Justin .

    Of course it goes without saying Scheer will not get much credit for that from many here.

    After all, we all know Mr. Scheer has that Creep Factor .

    That was my Feminist side speaking out .

  10. Gene The Bean says:

    Thanks Harvey.
    I guess for Bernier it is hard to appear as anything but what he is, a white nationalist bully.

    As for your comment that Scheer sounded positively statesmanlike for conservative leaning voters – well, keeping it real, that cant be too difficult.

  11. 13 says:

    Cranky the psr post re trudeau riding another child was from a newspaper titled
    National fantasy

  12. BMCQ says:


    After digesting HO’s Blog Topic and analysis on Quebec Bill 21 I must gingerly agree with Harvey, all Federal Parties should go on record against that Legislation .

    I do however still have some concerns regarding the Full Burka, that is not Religious Freedom for Women whatever they might say . Chances it is their Husband Speaking .

    The Full Burka needs to be discussed st the Federal Level and there is no better time to start than at the next Debate, let’s get all Leaders on record regarding that .

    Who knows, PM Justin may have attended an Event in Full Burka, he might be able to shed light on this most important subject .

    Now let me see, what might have been his Colour of choice ?

    (Response: The full burka is something completely different: I haven’t seen any politician or party, provincial or federal anywhere in Canada, advocating that. Quebec’s Bill 21 is controversial because it goes MUCH further … banning anyone from working in any public job (hospitals, schools, government offices, police etc.) if they wear a turban, skullcap, headscarf or crucifix, even it is not ceremonial, but an integral part of their particular faith. Banning those people from ALL public jobs, I believe, violates their human rights. If someone really objects to being served by someone wearing a head covering (do toupees count?), let them seek another staff member … but not deny a skilled worker or doctor or nurse the RIGHT to work … when they pay the same taxes/fees/premiums and hold the same citizenship as everyone else. h.o)

  13. Gilbert says:

    I honestly believe the Bloc has no place in a national debate. I think the PM liked the format with six candidates because Andrew Scheer is clearly a more intelligent and better debater. Calling Mr. Singh Mr. Scheer was hilarious

  14. nonconfidencevote says:

    Thanks for the chuckle Harvey.
    I must disagree that “our” politicians aren’t slightly insane.
    Megalomaniacal at worst and mirror gazing narcissistic sociopaths at best.
    Either way, not your average Joe Sixpack.

    I clicked on at the very end so I missed all of it.
    From the overshouting banshee I heard after the fact. I’m glad.
    As someone commented on the radio today, ” I envy the people that missed it.”

  15. Gilbert says:

    I noticed that both Rebel News and True North were present at the post-debate questions with the prime minister. The PMO tried to have them barred, but they went to court and won the right to be present. They both asked good questions.

    I find it very hypocritical that our PM vowed a very open and transparent government, but he tried to have unfriendly media barred from his campaign. Do we remember when Stephen Harper was criticized for limiting questions to five a day in the last campaign? Well, PM Trudeau once went two days in a row without answering any questions from the media. I don’t consider that doing politics differently.

  16. 13 says:

    Gilbert asked “do we remember when Stephen Harper…..” Are you kidding me? 100 years from now liberals will be warning Canadian voters about HERR HARPER. Yes Gilbert everyone on this blog especially those that do not support the conservative party remember Harper.
    Now that I think about it, in the future when a Federal Leader Lies, cheats, breaks laws , acts unethically time and time again or acts like a buffoon, people will likely say ” do we remember Justin Trudeau…..”

  17. DBW says:

    Well Harvey, I did listen to the debate while walking my dog Monday and I did listen to some party strategists discuss the debate the next morning again while walking my dog.
    While both dog and I are better off physically, I am not sure if I am any better off mentally than my dog after all that listening.

    Singh impressed me enough that I have absolutely no reason now to not vote for the NDP candidate in my riding who I hope along with Singh will make excellent opposition critics who will hold whoever is in power to account, preferably in a minority.

    A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the betting odds so here’s the update. For those gamblers out there who threw some cash at Trudeau and the Liberals when he was considered an underdog – good work. The odds of him winning have improved while those of Scheer have dropped.

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