By Harvey Oberfeld
Keeping It Real…
September the 18th, 2015
Was NDP Leader Tom Mulcair trying to be “Prime Ministerial” … or had someone slipped him a Valium? Whatever the reason, I believe he lost ground in Thursday’s televised Globe and Mail debate on the economy.
It was Trudeau who seemed to have the greatest passion for “investing in Canada’s future”, starting right after the election if the Liberals win; Harper very clearly zeroed in on his targeted demographic … those who don’t want to see any tax increases (corporate, payroll or investment) and benefit from income-splitting and Tory investment incentives and savings plans; while Mulcair no doubt satisfied his base, promising child care spaces, big business tax increases, small business breaks and stiffer environmental reviews/controls … solid NDP policies.
However, both Trudeau and Harper were much more adept at debating and defending their positions on the fly, also dishing out figures, defending their positions and promises and citing many more statistics to back their arguments. Mulcair spoke much more in generalities … seemed to me to be quoting quite often from a prepared script and briefing notes … sometimes not related to the actual questions asked.
The winner with undecided voters?
I would say Harper.
He came off as the most confident, stable, cautious and his experience in the job was clearly apparent: to the point that his remarks/warnings may have scared many UNDECIDED Canadians with his warnings about tax/payroll increases, investment losses, deficits … even job losses …under the NDP and Liberals.
Trudeau was indeed passionate and defended very well the Liberal policy of investing NOW in transit and infrastructure at low interest rates, but he did stumble, came across to some extent as an inexperienced, even immature debater … and almost hate to admit it, but just as those Tory ads have claimed .. not quite ready to be PM.
Mulcair …to stay atop the polls … will need in the next debate to drop the prepared buzz words or phrases or scripts and get back to speaking from the heart and answering the exact questions he’s asked. And it wouldn’t hurt if he had …. not just some generalities …. but precise numbers for each and every promise or tax increase the NDP has proposed.