09.29.2015 11:02 AM

KCCCC Day 58: Munk debate comments, gratis


  • We are in Vancouver, heading East soon.  So, as before, here are comments on the Munk Debate from all of you.  For the most part, I personally agree with most of you: the debate was well-organized, the moderator was outstanding, and Trudeau and Harper won for different reasons.  Mulcair lost.  Now, youse guys.
  • Ann Jarnet: It was a good debate. I barely cringed. Surprised to see Trudeau do as well as he did; a bit of redemption! I still see Harper as lame, but apparently over 30% want someone that lame to lead us. Mulcair showed meanness which is never good in the long term. 
  • Krago:  rudeau and his handlers recognize the truth about modern political debates: the only thing that matters is the clip that makes it onto the news afterward. All his clipworthy moments are scripted and rehearsed in advance, and all his interruptions are intended to specifically ‘step on’ his opponents clips. Mulcair hasn’t learned this yet, and that is how Trudeau keeps ‘winning’ debates.
  • Steve: I one of the best parts of the debate was when Justin defended his fathers record. While Trudeau Sr was not perfect he was a good PM. Harper was off his game and it really showed that he did not want to be at this debate. Tommy boy came across as phony with his answers. So if anybody won the debate it would be Trudeau as he came across as a leader and his responses to the questions seemed very sincere.
  • Bryan Kelloway:  Was there a debate? I was busy watching the Blue Jay’s game. 
  • Michael Clifton:  Performances all good. Lots of good zingers by all.  Neither Mulcair or Trudeau held a candle to Harper for appearing to have a thoughtful perspective on every situation, regardless of whether you agree with him. Harper’s failings are not in this arena. And, the reality is, there is always room for disagreement about what should have been done, and no one can predict with perfection the impact of today’s choices. I have doubts that Mulcair would necessarily do any better. I am certain Trudeau woudl not.  Trudeau is a hollow shell and has no shame. He made a more disgraceful use of his father’s memory than anyone else. He’d obviously been planning that one, because he jumped at the first opportunity, and it wasn’t even a good one.
  • Sean Cummings: I think the bigger issue is who lost. And that would be Mulcair. Remember when everyone thought because of his lawyerly background that he would kick ass in the debates? Good times.
  • Brent Crofts:  As for the debate, Trudeau and Mulcair beat the tar out of each other and Harper left relatively unscathed. Random observation 1: whoever told Mulcair to take a shot at PET should be fired. Ugly cheap shot that Trudeau reversed nicely.  Random observation 2: the moderator asked Trudeau how he’d deal with Putin and the audience immediately laughed. Ouch.  Random observation 3: Harper and Trudeau received consistent applause and Mulcair received virtually none. Minute resting.  Just my $.02.
  • Al in Cranbrook:  Best debate, no contest. Hope everyone else involved in setting up these events took some notes. Harper was the only one to answer questions and speak directly to the topic, and with authority.
  • Maps Onburt:  I don’t know how you were watching it but the translator speaking English at volume 10 when the leaders were speaking English at volume 2 behind her drove me to distraction. I was screaming at the tube for her just to STFU. I agree the format was very good.
  • George: JT has about as much conviction as his speech-writers can generate for him on a given day. He may win, but if he does it will only be because of two things: 1) an appetite for change and 2) the left lining up behind Trudeau’s new NDP as part of an anybody-but-Harper movement – but traditionally strategic voting has never worked.  Interesting times ahead. I thought JT did alright in the debate, Harper appeared the most knowledgeable and Mulcair was the big loser.
  • Jack D.: I was disgusted by Mulcair’s performance tonight.  He was pompous, dismissive, rude and incredibly acrimonious. His snarky quips against Trudeau were witty at first, until he decided to go full-on asshole and call him stupid in front a 3000 member audience and everyone watching on TV. It was cringe-worthy and despicable to see that sort of resentment manifest itself in such an ugly manner. Despite all of the TV ads, I haven’t even heard Harper go so far as to directly insult Trudeau’s intelligence to his face in the way Mulcair did. His attempts to make fun of Trudeau got some laughs but ate up what precious time he had to pitch his plan. His dig at Bob Rae was so ironic that I almost fell over in complete shock at his lack of self-awareness.Everything Tom did or said tonight was tragic. He was supposed to come to this debate and make his case as an agent of change but ended up painting himself and NDP as a party travelling backwards in time. He spent more time on the defensive and looking angry as hell. 


  1. Christian Giles says:

    As I noted in the earlier thread I didn’t watch the debate (the Jays are in the playoffs for the first time in 22 years – a major Toronto sports team in any playoff sit is a rarity). But from the bits and clips I saw it looked like a lively event. I think having an audience was a great idea. No idea who won and I don’t think it’ll change much at. Doesn’t change my rather gloomy prediction of a Harper majority either. Looking at the polls (I know they suck) it’s getting to the point where Liberal/NDP splits are going to produce a whole crap load of seats for the Blue team. Grim times ahead I’m afraid.

  2. Alex says:

    All three leaders did well yesterday. That being said, this election is making me depressed.

    Harper is maintaining his base and finding ways to grow it incrementally across the country. Trudeau is winning the anti-Harper contest, for sure, but his platform is filled with platitudes. (A recent column by Coyne revealed how disingenuous the Liberal economic plan really is). As for Mulcair, he has not only failed to seal the deal, he is in danger of collapsing in Quebec. But before the Grits rejoice, the evidence to date shows that the Cons and Bloc are picking up the lions share of what the NDP is losing in Quebec.

    The Grits will almost certainly beat Mulcair, but Harper? I wouldn’t bet on it. I am also not convinced that the Grits and Dippers will gang up on Harper post-election if the Tories win a minority, which is the likeliest outcome. If the Dippers come in third, which now seems probable, the NDP may end up giving Mulcair the boot, which will throw that Party into chaos. This will give the Tories space and time to govern for a few more years, get a new Leader (Michelle Rempel?) and seek a fifth mandate.

    • Jack D says:

      For the most part, I actually agree with your assessment.

      But I would differ with you on one point though: the Grits actually have plenty of reason to rejoice even if the gains in Quebec are being made primarily by the Conservatives and the Bloc at the NDP’s expense.

      The biggest factor in this election is the momentum of change and which direction it would shift towards. Right now we’re seeing a deflation of Thomas Mulcair in the NDP’s most crucial base –Quebecois voters. If Quebec weakens for the NDP then they’re chances of even holding official opposition are diminished.

      This is where the Liberal’s have reason to rejoice. I think Warren mentioned here a little while back about how important the post-election period is going to be for Canadian politics. This is especially true for the “anyone-but-Conservative” voters. If the NDP fails to make any gains and falls back into third party status, not only is Thomas Mulcair finished (as you rightly pointed out) but so are the NDP’s chances of harnessing the change vote. This means that many voters who expected the NDP to be the agent of change in this election will desperately swing their vote to the Liberals in the hopes of toppling the Conservatives.

      Now, what the Conservatives do in the meantime will be determined at how the base reacts to whats going on in the opposition. Minority governments aren’t entirely friendly towards the Conservatives and if they opt to push reset on the leadership before another election then things could get interesting. I suspect that post-Harper, quality candidates might be a little reluctant in filling in that leadership role. There are a lot of signs of wear and tear after Harper tenure that would require someone with Harper’s iron-fisted leadership to mend. I don’t think there is anyone (other than Kenney) willing to take the same approach as Harper; especially progressive Conservatives.

      Buckle up. We’re in for some interesting times.

      • Vancouverois says:

        Exactly. If the NDP starts to collapse in Quebec, that means the Liberal party becomes the default home for the ABC vote.

        It also means that the NDP scare effect that led to so many Blue Liberals in Ontario bleeding to the Conservatives in 2011 may be stymied. Bad news for the NDP and Conservatives both.

    • cgh says:

      Quite right, Alex. Coyne described it thusly: Libs call for $15 billion in new spending and $5 billion in taxes. Dips call for $10 billion in spending and $10 billion in taxes. And both of them are under the delusion that this will have any significant effect on a $2 trillion economy? What’s worse, they are both being deceptive by including handouts to various favoured special interest groups, calling it social infrastructure.

      So not just the Libs being deceptive, it’s both so-called progressive parties indulging in pixie dust and unicorn farts. How many times does it have to be said? Government money spent on consumption does NOT increase the national economy. Best line in Coyne’s column was that we’re not going to get rich looking after each other’s children.

    • Luke says:

      Shit yes, Harper does seem to be making good use of little wedge issues. Clever I guess, especially in such a tight race. Probably little shifts that result from unimportant wedges can make all the difference. The niqab thing is the main example that comes to mind. It naturally fits its way into the foreign affairs bent the campaign narrative seems to be taking, too, and seems to be popular owing to people’s sense of unease around such images.

      I will still be hopeful and fantasize of a Liberal or NDP minority.

  3. ralphonso says:

    Krago, whomever you are, you are bang on. Well done.

    • Krago says:

      I’m blushing.

      Also, Justin’s defence of Cher Papa was about as spontaneous as a space shuttle launch. I’m 99.9% certain that Trudeau’s brain trust knew that Mulcair might bring up the War Measures Act during the debate on Bill C-51 and they programmed Justin with his ‘God gave me this face’ reply.

      [Sorry, I’m tearing up while writing this post…]

  4. Maps Onburt says:

    Warren, I’m interested on how you think Trudeau is managing on the give passports to Terrorists angle now that he commented on it in the debate… I suspect he did as well as he could have but I’m also guessing that his advisers are wishing he’d never opened up that line of attack to begin with. I think he’ll lose more votes than he gains. Your perspective?

  5. lou says:

    While I will agree that Justin performed well, biggest problem is he supported positions that are wholly not what “canadians” support. The assumption that NDP votes will bleed into liberal votes is laughable. Just an observation, but most die-hard NDP’ers will move to Harper to avoid a Fakedeau win. Very simple.

    • Vancouverois says:

      Committed NDP votes will bleed to the Tories? Are you kidding?

      • ralphonso says:

        You must live in an urban centre. Outside urban centres there is a big NDP-Conservative swing. Plenty of new dems would rather keep Harper than gain trudeau.

        • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

          Totally agree with you ralphonso. The NDP and the Conservative history is as protest parties against them center of the Universe “Down East” Liberals, and would much rather have an NDPer than a Liberal.

          As witness Alberta.

        • Vancouverois says:

          I am indeed in an urban centre. I’m still surprised, though.

          I can see *uncommitted* NDP voters going Conservative; particularly those in Quebec, as seems to be happening. But I don’t get how committed NDP types would choose to vote Conservative under any circumstances, especially when Trudeau has adopted so many traditionally left-wing positions on issues. It’s not what I would expect.

      • cgh says:

        What committed NDP votes in Quebec would those be? The ones who voted Bloc for about five straight elections? The ones who voted Tory throughout the 1980s? What the polls and trends seem to show is that Mulcair has the same problem David Peterson had in Ontario in 1990: support a mile wide and an inch deep.

        And it’s evaporating away.

      • Christian Giles says:

        It’s not a totally insane concept. Western Canada has a long established pattern of Blue-Orange voting. Alberta was the most recent example.

        • Curt says:

          Ask people in Alberta how our new government is doing. We are extremely disappointed as we are heading for carbon taxes at the pump, higher electrical power rates, higher taxes and last but not least a sales tax. While they give high ly paid civil servants a 7.5% raise this year. Meanwhile in the private sector people are getting laid off from ” good paying jobseekers”

      • Bart F. says:

        Agree that the die-hards wouldn’t vote for the CPC. But Mulcair has attempted to move his party to the right. He probably passed Justin rushing the other way.

        Blue Liberals may not like Justin’s leftward drift. And NDP supporters recruited during Mulcair’s “conservatization” drive may eventually opt for the real thing. The oft repeated trope that Harper’s 30% support is a hard boundary may be tested.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Wishing that NDP supporters will go to the CONS before the Libs is laughable. Just because you and your fellow outliers want it to be the case, common sense and every poll reveal that by a wide margin the second choice of Libs and NDP supporters are each other.

    • JAM says:

      A: If “die-hard NDP’ers” will move to anybody then they’re not really all that “die-hard” now are they.

      B: According to polling the Liberals and New Democrats second choice is overwhelmingly each other.

    • Jack D says:

      I don’t think you’ve grasped the current political climate in Canada. Roughly 2/3 of the electorate dislikes Harper in some form or another. While there are a few orange/blue voters out there that wouldn’t vote Liberal even if you put a gun to their head, but to say that “most die-hard dippers” would vote Harper just to keep Liberals out is just ludicrous.

      First of all, these dyed in the wool NDPers will vote NDP come hell or high-water. So the idea that they would betray their own philosophical and ideological parameters is a non sequitur. Second of all, you’re way over estimating the partisanship of the change vote. Polls have clearly indicated that these voters are comfortable with either NDP or Liberals if it means a toppling of a Harper government.

      Your observation is based upon conjecture and wishful thinking, lou. Like or dislike the current realities of the political environment in Canada, you can’t just make up your own facts.

    • Nicole says:

      There is a significant uncommitted vote out there that is going to choose whoever they think will beat Harper. With the polls being as tight as they are, that number is not being captured right now in any polling. As for committed NDP voters going to the Tories, I don’t ever see that happening. They will abstain or simply vote NDP regardless, because they would have voted NDP in the past when forming a government was never a real possibility.

    • cynical says:

      NDP voters would rather drive a rusty nail into their foreheads than vote for Harper. What planet are you from?
      I can see them not voting, or voting Green, but Harper? Never.He’s the fucking Antichrist!

  6. Someone needs to stick a microphone in Ed Broadbent’s face and ask him how Mulcair is doing.

  7. Thomas says:

    I was hoping we’d get to see what the Orange could do, after the Blues and Reds talk out of one side of their mouth while they keep piling on more and more debt.

    But after seeing Mulcair slither around on stage, with his ad hominem attacks and his focus on the past and not the future, I’m thinking (ugh) that we’ll have PM Trudeau once again.

    Other countries must think it’s an effective monarchy here in N.A., with the Bushes, the Kennedy’s, the Clintons and the Trudeaus….

  8. Eric Weiss says:

    The open laughter when JT was asked how he would handle Putin reminded never of when the press openly laughed when Paul Martin said the Stronach floor crossing wasn’t about keeping his minority government in power. It’s never a good sign.

  9. Kaplan says:

    After, uh, first of all, uh, listening to Mr. Trudeau, I now find I am far too, uh, aware of his propensity to say “uh” far, uh, too much.

    • Nicole says:

      He is far better in French on that point. Translators are a mild annoyance at best and distracting like for this last debate. I wouldn’t be surprised that Quebec voters and those fluent in French take him a bit more seriously than those who don’t understand French. It helps that Harper is obviously not a native speaker of French and that Mulcair was just weird in the last two debates, but Trudeau does well in French.
      The emotion that he gets criticized for in English is not perceived the same way in French Canada. I would say other cultures less restrained than WASPs also don’t view emotion in a debate as a negative. Chantal Hebert said as much after the French debate.

  10. fan590 says:

    We have reached the point where Trudeau is the true alternative to the current PM.

    • UFP Ambassador says:

      fan590 has reached the point where Trudeau is the true alternative to the current PM. Scott stands with him.
      (There, fixed it for ya)

    • Curt says:

      The Phil Kessel of the Liberal party? Just couldn’t resist it Fan

      • fan590 says:

        Kessel is going to have a huge year playing with some real line mates.

        Just like Justin has shown he can walk the walk has trounced Mulcair.

        The real story of the election is how he has shown those Tory ads have backfired.

    • ottlib says:

      Mr. Trudeau was always the true alternative to Mr. Harper. The Orange Wave in Quebec blinded many who should have known better to the fact that the NDP has never been trusted with national government in this country. One election, where they did very well in one province while doing less well elsewhere did not change that fact. Neither should have the polls last spring, that showed an NDP “surge”, that were conducted smack in the middle of the very positive news coverage of the Alberta NDP victory.

      This country has always alternated between Conservative and Liberal governments and I suspect that will not change this time around. Canadian voters are very conservative that way.

      If the desire for change is as deep and widespread as it seems then most of the non-aligned voters, who are the ones that gave Mr. Harper is majority in 2011, will swing from him to the Liberals. The breadth of that swing still needs to be determine but if it is substantial the Liberals will have a very good night on October 19.

  11. greyapple says:

    Long time reader, first time poster. For all the Liberal rejoicing about Trudeau’s performance last night (and it was mostly decent), I think we will look back on this debate as the moment the momentum turned to the Tories. Trudeau’s sentimental dreck about dear old Pierre (for that’s what it was), will not count for a hill of beans before too long. Let me say straight up, I’d love to see the end of Harper’s regime, but I increasingly think we’ll be stuck with it for some time. Let me explain….

    The conventional wisdom seems to be that Trudeau won, but I’d give it to Harper. Two moments stick out to bring me to that conclusion The first was when Trudeau was asked how he’d deal with Putin and the audience laughed. They didn’t laugh at his answer, they laughed at the very premise of the question. Justin dealing with Putin, haw haw haw!! That response proves he has a long way to go before a majority of voters think he is capable of playing in with the big boys on the world stage. I’ll wager we’ll be hearing that laugh track in Tory attack ads in the very near future.

    The second was the much discussed shouting match between Trudeau and Harper over C-24. For me there’s no contest, Harper cleaned Trudeau’s clock in that bout, and I think (fear) it will win him support. Trudeau (and Mulcair) are legally, and arguably morally, in the right to oppose stripping citizens of their citizenship for terrorist actions, but it won’t matter. Like the niqab “issue” it elicits a guttural, emotional response that can’t be reasoned away. Trudeau can loudly pontificate on the philosophical basis of rights of citizens all he wants. Joe and Jane MainStreet will largely follow the Tory line of “Those bastards want to harm our country! Kick ’em the hell out!!”

    Honestly, there was a knockout moment in the debate. It was during that exchange when Harper put it to Trudeau that if he was opposed to stripping terrorists of their citizen, would have us not strip the citizenship of Nazi war criminals, as we have done in the past. Trudeau was momentarily stunned and thrown off his stride before feebly answering “no” and then resuming where he left off. Boom, direct hit, right in the face!

    I hate to say it, but…Harper’s got a point. We did do it old Nazis for actions they did decades ago, so why not for young, would be jihadists who intend to wage war against Canada and Canadians. Again, we can organize a seminar on the constitutional, legal, and moral ramifications, but it won’t matter. Joe and Jane will be with the Tories. This will be the centrepiece of the final weeks of the Tory campaign. It may cost Trudeau the election, just as the niqab may have blown it for Mulcair.

    All these factor, plus the longstanding “he’s just not ready” campaign, the Tories clarity vs. the opposition muddle over the ISIS mission, and the NDP’s slide in the polls, is why I’m all but certain we’re heading for another Conservative government. Maybe even a majority. Three weeks is a long time, but that’s how I’m reading the tea leaves.

    God, I hope I’m wrong!

    • Jack D says:

      Well, you know what they say about reading tea leaves.

      I don’t think anyone said Harper lost. In fact, the general consensus amongst most partisans is that Harper has managed to hold himself up quite well through many of the debates. Albeit, he’s been a bit of a non-factor in many cases when the battle has been largely between Trudeau and Mulcair, but that works to Harpers benefit. The lest time he’s left having to answer about things like defects, economy and ethics in the PMO –the better.

      Having said that, obviously you’re entitled to an opinion but yours is one that is contrary to the wider audience. Trudeau’s performance was a little more than “mostly decent” it was quite surprising actually. I’m a Liberal who was a little worried on Trudeau’s ability to handle himself on foreign affairs. I think its fair to say that theres a stigma of sorts that has hung of Trudeau’s head over a possible bereft of substance. Agree with his positions or not, he came to the debate very well prepared.

      Therein lies the key.

      Foreign affairs never determine elections; its a simple fact. It may be a topic of discussion during the campaign but voters headed to the polls are primarily concerned with issues relating to the economy. Again disagree with Trudeau’s policies all you want, his deliverance of them last night was what is being positively received today. Particularly for those people who want to get to rid of Harper, its the passion that Trudeau brought to his positions that was fundamentally contradictory to those of Stephen Harper. What Trudeau managed to do was establish himself as a clear alternative to Stephen Harper.

      I feel as if you may have missed the point of this entire election though. 2/3 of the Canadian electorate is being shown as desiring change. There is a strong desire to vote Stephen Harper out. The real campaign here is who can harness that change-vote and use its momentum. There are many people out there who find Stephen Harper’s policies quite palatable and thats fine. But Stephen Harper can pontificate as loudly as he likes the reasoning behind his stances; ultimately, Joe and Jane MainStreet are looking for something else.

  12. Kev says:

    Have heard from a lot of my leftier ABC voters, who had mostly been waffling Green-NDP….

    … who are voting Liberal.

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