Canada: John Ivison: After debate big on partisanship not leadership, voters are the real losers - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada John Ivison: After debate big on partisanship not leadership, voters are the real losers

07:50  08 october  2019
07:50  08 october  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

Jason Kenney headed to Ontario to campaign for Andrew Scheer in crucial Toronto-area ridings

  Jason Kenney headed to Ontario to campaign for Andrew Scheer in crucial Toronto-area ridings EDMONTON — Jason Kenney, who has long promised he would campaign on behalf of Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives against Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, will make good on that vow this weekend, with more than a dozen appearances in his old stomping grounds around Toronto. Kenney is planning to appear alongside various local Conservative candidates — details aren’t finalized — to buff up support in crucial ridings before he returns to Alberta for the upcoming session of the legislature. The path to a majority government, generally speaking, leads through the ridings around Toronto — aka the 905.

Share this story. John Ivison : Andrew Scheer’s ‘problematic’ leadership sparks concern among Conservatives. The concern is that this is not because a significant number of voters are defecting to Maxime Bernier’s new party. Rather, the worry is that the support is shifting to the Liberals, who are

At one leadership debate , he was greeted by a hooting throng of Conservatives over his support for a But this is the time to have the debate — it’s not the kind of policy a leader should introduce three weeks after John Ivison : Scheer's environmental plan unlikely to attract much needed young voters .

Elizabeth May, Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer, Maxime Bernier, Yves-François Blanchet, Jagmeet Singh standing next to a person in a suit and tie: Federal party leaders Green Party leader Elizabeth May, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh before the Federal leaders debate in Gatineau, Quebec, Oct. 7, 2019.© Sean Kilpatrick/Pool/AFP via Getty Images Federal party leaders Green Party leader Elizabeth May, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh before the Federal leaders debate in Gatineau, Quebec, Oct. 7, 2019.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Here’s what strategists say the federal leaders need to do in the English debate

  Here’s what strategists say the federal leaders need to do in the English debate “There really is no such thing as a knockout punch anymore," says NDP strategist Anne McGrath.Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet duked it out just four days ago in the TVA French-language debate. But on Monday, they'll be joined by Green Party Leader Elizabeth May as well as People's Party Leader Maxime Bernier, and the debate will be entirely in English.

Kevin O’Leary professes himself a “Conservative expansionist,” with a target of growing the party by 40 per cent under his leadership , mainly by appealing to 18-35 year old voters disillusioned by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.

Socrates, as we know, wrote nothing. His life and ideas are known to us through direct accounts – writings either by contemporaries (Aristophanes) or disciples (Plato and Xenophon) — and through indirect accounts, the most important of which is the one written by Aristotle, who was born fifteen

It is a strange paradox that there is a decline in trust in federal political parties at the same time as there is a rise in partisanship.

Far from restoring confidence in the system, the English-language leaders debate reinforced that contradiction, offering a cacophony of sectarian thunder but very little illumination.

Few people who watched will feel that they witnessed a leader they can trust; someone who made them feel good; who could offer the country stability, consistency and a vision to make Canada the best place in the world to live, work and raise a family.

On the other hand, there was partisanship aplenty.

Differences were highlighted and prejudices reinforced. Choices were dramatized as if Canadians are deciding between a visionary leader, able to turn horses into unicorns, and the ringleader of the zombie army of the unthinking.

Trudeau, Singh make campaign stops as other federal leaders cram for debate

  Trudeau, Singh make campaign stops as other federal leaders cram for debate OTTAWA — Federal party leaders are staying relatively quiet today as they prepare for Monday's critical English-language debate, where each is hoping to make a mark as the campaign heads into its home stretch. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau did make a quick bus trip to the Ontario community of Plainfield between Ottawa and Toronto this morning where he planted trees at a conservative area before renewing his attacks on the Conservatives' plan toLiberal Leader Justin Trudeau did make a quick bus trip to the Ontario community of Plainfield between Ottawa and Toronto this morning where he planted trees at a conservative area before renewing his attacks on the Conservatives' plan to eliminate the Liberals' price on carbon.

Chris Roussakis / National Post. John Ivison . It’s irresponsible.” He is calling for voters to question all politicians on whether their policies are creating jobs. It would seem that the minimum price of entry for potential leaders is the ability to take part in a French language leadership debate .

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer speaks to reporters after a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Patrick Doyle/THE CANADIAN PRESS. John Ivison .

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s opening statement aimed at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau set the tone. “Mr. Trudeau, you are a phoney and a fraud and you don’t deserve to govern this country,” he said.

Scheer wasn’t alone in exhibiting chauvinism, with added hypocrisy.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh talked about building bridges to bring people together and then invoked class envy by dumping on “the powerful,” “the wealthy” and “those at the top.” Singh said he is opposed to laws that divide people but was muted in his criticism of Quebec’s Bill 21, which has the support of around 70 per cent of the population in the province.

'You are a phony and a fraud': Scheer rips into Trudeau in his opening remarks at debate

  'You are a phony and a fraud': Scheer rips into Trudeau in his opening remarks at debate With just two weeks until election day and polls showing the Liberals and Conservatives locked in a dead heat , tonight’s English-language debate could be the last chance for the leaders to make a big impression on Canadians. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will have to speak up, though, because they’ll be just two voices on a crowded stage. Read all of the National Post's election coverage Tonight’s debate, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will have to speak up, though, because they’ll be just two voices on a crow

CNN Opinion asked a range of contributors to give their take on the first Republican Party debate of the 2016 presidential campaign.

In a new online ad, the Liberals have started talking about the Harper Decade, urging voters to end it. It’s clever because it plays into the fear of all governments that, after crossing the psychological Rubicon of 10 years, voters are simply going to get fed up of seeing them around.

Green Leader Elizabeth May was the only person onstage who talked about setting aside partisanship to work together. But then she ruined all her fine words by blasting Scheer’s plan to cut foreign aid by 25 per cent as “the worst idea in your short-term, misguided, greedy and selfish non-platform.”

Small wonder that an Elections Canada survey found a majority of Canadians have not much confidence in federal political parties.

There were some effective cheap shots — Scheer said People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier’s motivation was to generate “’likes’ and retweets from the darkest parts of Twitter”; Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet condemned Liberal foreign policy: “Don’t show your biceps if you have tiny biceps”; Trudeau, referring to Bernier’s views on immigration, claimed the Beauce MP is saying publicly what Scheer thinks privately.

Leaders spoke regularly about respect and dignity but showed none to each other.

Justin Trudeau wearing a suit and tie:  Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer during the Federal leaders debate in Gatineau, Quebec, Oct. 7, 2019.© Justin Tang/Pool/AFP via Getty Images Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer during the Federal leaders debate in Gatineau, Quebec, Oct. 7, 2019.

The most dramatic point in the evening occurred when Scheer was given the chance to confront Trudeau directly. He turned to face up to his nemesis and asked, in reference to the SNC affair: “When did you decide the rules don’t apply to you?”

Christie Blatchford: I missed a Leaf game for this debate? (They lost, just like Trudeau)

  Christie Blatchford: I missed a Leaf game for this debate? (They lost, just like Trudeau) There may not have been a super obvious winner — though five of the leaders had their moments — but there sure was a single clear loser. That would be the current prime minister. It was Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s turn — the format of the leaders debate was bizarre and complex, at least to my tiny mind — to ask any of the other leaders a single question, whereupon the recipient of the question got a minute to answer and then in turn, chosen randomly, the others yelled over one another. Scheer immediately turned to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

This debate was a big night for Cruz. Without Trump around he was able to stand at the center of the stage and gobble up attention that he would have normally had to fight for. Rubio is the candidate that other campaigns view as the biggest threat to capture establishment Republican voters .

Earlier in his leadership , Miliband fought on a platform of social justice and fairness, using the Voters have reacted coolly to the Liberal proposal — apparently unconvinced by the party’s program Trudeau is more sure-footed than previously, but voters are getting whiplashed by decisions like the

A back and forth on whose platform spends more money concluded with Trudeau playing the old Doug Ford service cuts card.

Singh spoke for most of the watching public when he said the two men were arguing over who will be worse for Canada.

The loser in all this was Andrew Scheer. The Conservative leader needed to have a big night, after a week in which his reputation was pounded by his opponents for the alleged lack of transparency on his resumé, his views on issues of conscience and his nationality.

He was more spirited than during last week’s French debate — “I have nothing to learn from Mr. Trudeau who fired the first Indigenous attorney general for doing her job,” he said at one point.

He seemed to enjoy brushing off Bernier on one flank and Trudeau on the other. He may even have regained some of the momentum he generated in the campaign’s early days.

But he is hamstrung by being too narrow in his sympathies.

Scheer offered little to the nearly one third of voters who haven’t yet made up their minds. Of those, the majority told Abacus Data they would prefer to see a Liberal, rather than a Conservative, government.

The Tory leader has been a one-trick pony during this campaign, vocal on the issue of “getting ahead.”

“Will this be a country where you struggle to get by or a country where life is affordable? That’s what this federal election will come down to,” he says at every stop he makes.

After Monday night, it’s time to fix the debates

  After Monday night, it’s time to fix the debates The verbal bunfight that was billed as an election leaders’ debate on Monday night accomplished at least one thing: a national consensus on an important issue. Which is that this debate was a mess, and for the sake of our democracy we have to figure out a way to do better. A lot better. Six leaders, five moderators and a format that lent itself to anything but real debate. The verbal bunfight that was billed as an election leaders’ debate on Monday night accomplished at least one thing: a national consensus on an important issue.

The real barometer of public opinion is the question of whether it is time for another party to take over in Ottawa. At the moment, voters are discounting the economic consequences of changing governments — one poll suggested the number who think a change in Ottawa would make things

Ontario premier Doug Ford is proving an unlikely inspiration for disillusioned federal New Democrats. There is a growing consensus among members of caucus that the party’s leader , Jagmeet Singh, will have to step down if he fails to win the byelection in Burnaby South, likely to be called early next year.

But Scheer has not dared to be great — his one big idea being a national energy corridor that appears unworkable, given the opposition in Quebec and among First Nations.

His base is too narrow to win government without picking up more centrist support.

His spurious climate change plan has alienated voters who might otherwise have opted for the Conservatives — he looked naked when the leaders were asked about a concrete plan to address big business polluters.

He tried to divert attention toward Trudeau’s two campaign planes — “You bought carbon offsets but that’s a thing privileged people do to keep polluting.”

Justin Trudeau, Andrew Scheer are posing for a picture:  Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau looks on as Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Green Party leader Elizabeth May discuss a point during the Federal leaders debate in Gatineau, Quebec, Oct. 7, 2019.© Sean Kilpatrick/Pool/AFP via Getty Images Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau looks on as Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer and Green Party leader Elizabeth May discuss a point during the Federal leaders debate in Gatineau, Quebec, Oct. 7, 2019.

Trudeau’s response will resonate with many people who may otherwise have tired of him. “You plan to rip up the only serious plan to fight climate change Canada has ever had,” he accused Scheer.

The Conservative leader’s failure to position his party in the political centre has stranded a swathe of voters, forced to look askance at a Liberal party that is too far to the left and a Conservative party that is too far to the right.

If the Tories lose this election, putting a price on carbon is an issue they will have to revisit or risk being left looking like a BlackBerry in an iPhone world.

Justin Trudeau, liberated by the dubious economic orthodoxy that debts and deficits don’t matter, was free to boast about Liberal largesse, like an arsonist brandishing a blowtorch.

John Ivison: It's best to treat all party platforms like the works of fiction they are

  John Ivison: It's best to treat all party platforms like the works of fiction they are The Liberals are waiting with bated, if slightly malodorous, breath to pounce on the Conservatives and NDP when they release their platform costings in the next few days. The Conservatives will say they will balance the books within five years, leaving themselves open to apocalyptic comparisons with Doug Ford’s Ontario government and Sauron. The NDP will commit to spending the equivalent of a mission to Mars on “head-to-toe healthcare,” inviting criticism that they will turn this land of plenty into Venezuela. My suggestion is that voters treat all party platforms like the works of fiction they are.

Share this story. John Ivison : Wilson-Raybould and Philpott choose independence, but the odds are stacked against them. Perhaps fortunately, the odds against being re-elected as an independent are ferocious. Bill Casey, who now sits as a Liberal MP, was the last person who managed it, after

John Kotter has a highly regarded approach to differentiating leaders from managers, but it is arguable that managers can do much of what his leaders do and that leadership has a very different meaning. A limitation of Kotter’s model is that he restricts managers to routine.

The only sense Bernier made all evening was when he said to all the other leaders that “governments that spend, spend, spend cannot create wealth … you cannot spend your way to prosperity.”

Long gone is the hopeful Liberal narrative from 2015, in favour of carpet-bombing the federal Conservatives and their provincial allies. At one point, Scheer said Trudeau is “oddly obsessed” with provincial politics and encouraged him to run for the vacant Ontario Liberal leadership.

Singh tried to nibble into Trudeau’s progressive support by asking why he keeps letting down people who voted Liberal in the last election.

“You say a lot of nice things but … your words are not good enough,” he said.

Trudeau was oddly subdued but he knew he was protecting his position as front-runner. The closest he came to looking rattled was when May unloaded on him. “Please God you don’t get another majority — you don’t keep your promises,” she said.

Her parting shot was at Scheer, telling him he will not be prime minister and that the choice for Canadians is now between a Trudeau majority and Trudeau minority. She may well be right but, if so, it is a sad reflection of the choices on offer.

The Canadian political system has been a success because of its moderation, pragmatism, common sense and the willingness of its principal actors to compromise.

Those days, it seems, are gone — and with them has dissolved investment in the political process.

• Email: [email protected] | Twitter: IvisonJ

Mandryk: A nasty campaign won't make a potential minority gov't any easier .
Mandryk: A nasty campaign won't make a potential minority gov't any easierIt’s a little ironic that Conservatives who have led the charge to oust Justin Trudeau in this very nasty and divisive federal election campaign may wind up with something they least want.

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