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JOHNSON – English federal leaders debate…. or just an evening of satire

(Image: Screenshot)

By DAVID JOHNSON

I was going to write seriously about the English Leaders debate, but given the debate format we live under now, I couldn’t get past the reality that … well … it was a joke.  Five leaders, too many issues to cover, seconds to answer questions that are often cut off for time.

David Johnson.

Given all that, I thought I’d just submit a more satirical review of what we all experienced.

Below are mostly direct quotes, sometimes rephrased, occasionally minus the schmoozing in between words leaders seem to like … and I intentionally rhetorically cherry-picked comments, just like leaders do.

The ‘Opening Statement’ section is pure lyrical, the sections following reflect words they actually said.

Questions are polled as being the most important to Canadians during this election: Leadership and Accountability, Afghanistan evacuations, Climate Change, Reconciliation, Affordability and Covid Recovery, with a couple sub questions.

The Players

Justin Trudeau – Liberal;
‘Hey I know … let’s have an election no one wants’
Jagmeet Singh – NDP;
‘We cant afford an election as a Party, so tax the rich’
Erin O’Toole – Conservative;
‘Hi … I’m the new guy, a lot better than the last guy’
Yves-François Blanchet – Bloc Québécois;
‘I dont want to run the country’
Annamie Paul – Green;
‘Im running in Toronto Centre, a riding I have no chance of winning’

——

Opening Statements – answers to a direct question:

Blanchet; On Quebec bills 96 and 21;
“We had a vote: Quebec is a Nation, not a distinct society, and we’re not racist”
Singh; On how he will pay for his big promises platform;
“Tax the rich … and ya, that’s pretty much it”
Trudeau; On why we are going to the polls now;
“So Canadians can decide the future, and a reason to shave”
Paul; On Green Party present disunity;
“I had to crawl over broken glass to be here tonight, and Quebec is racist”
O’Toole; On why we should trust him and his party;
“I’m ‘driving the bus’ – an oil burning and carbon spewing bus”

Leadership and Accountability:

Trudeau;
“We need to be better”
O’Toole;
“If we don’t export oil, Russia, Venezuela or Saudi Arabia will”
Paul;
“I’m name dropping Jane Philpot and Jody Wilson Raybould for ‘remember that?’ effect”
Singh;
“On climate change, on one side conservatives who won’t believe it’s a crisis, on the other Liberals who won’t act”
Blanchet;
“I’m not very much interested in leading Canada, and these guys aren’t proposing solutions”

Sub question – the 2 Michaels – Spavour and Kovrig, held in Chinese jails:

Singh;
“We have to get them home, but we need to solve long-term care home problems”
Paul;
“If we kept our promises to other countries, we would get help when we need it, like the Michaels”
Trudeau;
“We are holding China to account for international law, you do not lob tomatos”
Blanchet;
“Lobbing tomato’s might not be the right answer, but neither is doing nothing”
O’Toole;
“We need to get serious with China, we wrote the book on UN human rights code”

Afghanistan Evacuations:

Trudeau;
“We have taken 3,700 people out of Afghanistan since the beginning of the summer”
O’Toole;
“Mr. Trudeau shouldn’t have called an election, he should have gotten our people out”
Singh;
“I agree with Mr. O’Toole, he shouldn’t have called an election”
Blanchet;
“I agree with Mr. O’Toole, he shouldn’t have called an election”
Paul;
“I agree with Mr. O’Toole, he shouldn’t have called an election”

Climate Change:

Paul;
“This is non partisan, we need to all come together, Kum ba yah”
Singh;
“So who’s worse, Trudeau or O’Toole on climate? Tough to tell. We will fix it and tax the rich to pay for it”
Trudeau;
“Mr O’Toole’s new plan includes restoring the Northern Gateway Pipeline project, and cancel the tanker ban”
Blanchet;
“Mr. O’Toole said he doesn’t want a pipeline through Quebec, can he repeat that in English?” (He didn’t)
O’Toole;
“We have a plan to meet Paris, but minimize the impact on jobs and investment, yet be net zero by 2050”

Reconciliation:

Trudeau;
“Out of 105, we ended 109 boil water advisories, and are working on the rest” (NOT a typo)
Blanchet;
“Every nation has to be recognised as such, whether it’s 100 people, or the people of Quebec”
Paul;
“Justice delayed is justice denied, and I’ll drop Jody Wilson Raybould again”
O’Toole;
“We need a plan of action, and I’ll drop Jody Wilson Raybould as well”
Singh;
“A G7 nation that does not have clean drinking water, must walk the walk, and we’ll tax the rich to do it”

Sub Question: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Paul;
“We need space for Indigenous leadership and political will – btw … Jody Wilson Raybould”
Trudeau;
“We launched the inquiry the Conservatives would not, and then we stalled on the recommendations”
Singh;
“The calls for justice are not out there, you’re taking Indigenous kids to court”
O’Toole;
“We need a good plan to achieve a call to action, and we can do that for years”
Blanchet;
“Quebec is a nation, we talk nation to nation, I talked to a 1st Nation leader, he don’t speak French”
Blanchet;
“Im not getting equal time”

Affordability:

Seniors

Blanchet;
“In Quebec we give our seniors a cheque, the federal govt needs to pay them more in Quebec”
O’Toole;
“Were going to lower cell phone bills, groceries, and a one time GST holiday, and other stuff Harper did”
Trudeau;
“We gave seniors a Covid cheque, increased OAS for over 75, and my mom is 73”
Singh;
“Seniors shouldn’t work, so a guaranteed income … and of course taxing the rich will pay for it”
Paul;
“Guaranteed livable income, universal long term care, my grandparents were poor … come on people, Kum ba yah”

Housing and inflation

Singh;
“I promise we will lower house prices for young people and not protect older homeowners’ retirement equity”
Blanchet;
“If we build more social housing in Quebec on the feds’ dime, then house prices will drop”
O’Toole;
“Mr Trudeau is borrowing too much, we will one day invest in low-cost apartment housing”
Paul;
“Change the culture of Ottawa, so that means a guaranteed livable income”
Trudeau;
“$10/day childcare, Mr O’Toole will cancel it, but we got no actual costing for national pharmacare”

Covid Recovery:

O’Toole;
“A million jobs in a year, not enough people for restaurants and tourism to pay minimum wage to”
Paul;
“We won’t mandate vaccinations for our candidates, we won’t put partisan concerns ahead of public health”
Singh;
“We’re gonna cancel private long-term care, and we have the only credible plan to tax millionaires”
Trudeau;
“Post Covid, we will spend a lot, but Mr O’Toole won’t even require his own MPs to vaccinate to 90%”
Blanchet;
“Quebec is a nation, and a province, so we need more money to the provinces for healthcare”

Blanchet;
“Everyone has had four minutes more than me, and the debate is almost over, but don’t worry, I will take all the attention at the media scrum later, and pick a fight over everyone calling Quebec laws as racist, and if I do it loud enough, that will overshadow everything else here, and Quebeckers will love me more, it’s a … how you say in English??? … a win/win?”

Host:
“Thanks for coming out … electors know so much less about what matters to them, this was great.”

————-

Obviously, this was a hot mess of soundbites and satire, and entirely unfair to all involved, but they did say pretty much everything here at some point, often saying things as disjointed as this.  In today’s provided format, debates are about winning national news coverage of your four-second one liner, knowing it can’t be responded to.
They may as well be as intentionally comedic and satirical as we have here,
… as we don’t learn much anyway.

Advice:
Ignore the debate, google and learn about the newb contenders in our riding,
and what they stand for … be an informed voter.

David Johnson is a Kamloops resident, community volunteer and self described maven of all things Canadian.

About Mel Rothenburger (8416 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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