Shannon Proudfoot: “It seems certain that at least part of the liberal slippage has been the direct result of a surly electorate for being pressured into service when the pandemic has not even remotely moved in the rearview mirror.”
All parties always claim that their man won the debate, of course, but the fact that liberal Twitter was enraged by the supposedly impertinent and nasty questions in the leaders’ debate in English on Thursday night is a decent indication of that things didn’t work out so well for the red team.
At first, moderator Shachi Kurl started a one-on-one discussion segment between Green Party leader Annamie Paul and liberal leader Trudeau, with a question about how she calls herself a feminist and yet, under her supervision, sexual conduct. Inappropriate in the military has “run rampant.”
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again tonight that I don’t think Mr. Trudeau is a real feminist,” Paul said, almost unconcerned in his diagnosis. Someone who was a feminist would not have expelled strong women from her party, she said, citing Jodi Wilson-Raybauld, Jane Philpott and Celina Caesar-Chavannes as unfortunate examples. If there had been more women on a platform like the national leaders debate stage at the Canadian Museum of History, we would have better policies governing a number of issues, Paul argued, but she and Elizabeth May are the only ones who have landed there. in almost two decades. Trudeau evidently did not like this line of reasoning. “I think Ms. Paul, you will understand that I am not going to take lessons on caucus management,” he scoffed.
READ: Five conclusions from the federal electoral debate, a disjointed but energetic confrontation
The tone and content of the comment, which references the Green Party’s attempts to commit highly public acts of political cannibalism in recent months, was so sharp and petulant that it resonated like a slap in the face, suggesting that Trudeau was already feeling under siege. at 10 minutes after two hours. event. It wasn’t the only time he seemed agitated and with his back foot, prodded in a punch instead of a neat hook. The increased energy he has shown over the past week, when his campaign finally seemed to put on his shoes, was too high and the wrong kind to be of any use to him on Thursday.
Of course, as a starter he came in with more baggage and a softer exposed belly than the other party leaders. But the first question he was faced with, amid a barrage of similar questions to each of the leaders in succession, focused on the central question looming over the entire process: why are any of us here now? same?
“Mr. Trudeau, because you wanted a new term, you plunged the country into an election even as the pandemic sparked thousands of new cases. But for the past 18 months, the opposition parties have been heavily supported, putting to the nation over politics, “Kurl said.” Why aren’t you doing the same? How can you justify an election right now? “
Trudeau nodded and blinked slowly and wisely, but then offered a slightly confused amalgamation of the same fine mush response he had been giving since leaving Rideau Hall on August 15 after dissolving Parliament and launching the campaign. We have important decisions to make about how we get out of the pandemic, he said, and this debate would highlight very different ideas; He reiterated that some of these ideas would be “radically different,” though he refrained from pointing to Conservative leader Erin O’Toole and articulating “IT’S HIM” as he did so, on how to do it. “Those decisions will be made by your government now, in the coming weeks, this fall,” Trudeau said. “Not in a year, not in two years.”
Kurl, speaking for an exhausted and distracted nation, asked plaintively, “Couldn’t he have waited a few months?”
And here is the crux of the matter. Trudeau, his advisers and his party apparently launched the country into an election because the march looked good to seek a majority, according to months of polls that showed a significant and lasting advantage for them. That lead started to dwindle the moment the cars were issued in a skid that only recently appears, perhaps, to have bottomed out. And while Trudeau’s former chief secretary and close adviser Gerald Butts has suggested that the leadership was always an illusion born out of the goodwill of the pandemic, it also seems certain that at least part of the decline has been the direct result of a Surly electorate for being pressured for service when the pandemic has not moved even remotely to the rearview mirror.
The lack of a plausible or remotely compelling reason, beyond political opportunism, for holding elections at this time has clearly been a problem for voters. Then it could be a problem for Justin Trudeau.