Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, NDP leader Tom Mulcair, and Green leader Elizabeth May, finally took to the stage this week for the first official political debate before the upcoming federal election. Elizabeth May did a decent job at calling Harper out on his lies over C-51, false promises about the Tories' green initiatives, and more. It was also nice to see Mulcair reiterate the importance of repealing Bill C-51, and remind those listening that many respected legal scholars throughout Canada are against this bill. As the debate continued, it looked like viewers really took to May's comments in particular. Roughly 43 minutes into the debate, Maclean's tweeted out an image showing the online real-time conversation over the debate; it showed a surge for May.
Elizabeth May was also directly asked about calling Canada a dictatorship, to which May firmly responded that she was afraid for the future of Canada should it stay under the leadership of Harper and his party. May reminded Canadians that there is plenty to fear when you have creeping and unhealthy growth in power to the Prime Minister's office. Plenty of time was spent bickering over how each representative would tackle with fossil fuels and other environment-related topics, foreign policy, and more. Harper was forced on the defensive by the various candidates multiple times, and he held firm on his stance regarding c-51 and the notion that he is a good choice for continued steward of the economy and nation overall. Harper also took the time to stoke the Jihadist fear fire, pressing about the worry of radicalization and the notion that we have to "get them over" there before "they get us over here."
Trudeau criticized Harper for not protecting the future of Canadians and for not “thinking long-term,” with his policies. After having added tens of billions of dollars to the debt, passing legislation that many Canadians disagree with, and initiating several military conflicts, Harper still wants the citizenry to believe that he has their best interest at heart. Trudeau says that his party would be a better choice in offering a balance when it comes to the protection of Charter rights, and the implementation of overreaching pieces of legislation like C-51. Unfortunately, the Liberals (for the most part) still stand firm in their support for C-51, a law which many Canadians firmly believe is a stain on the Canadian justice system. Clearly, this particular law is still an important issue for many and it will be an influential factor for many Canadians who go out to vote later this year.
Harper's team themselves were quick to come out and declare that he had won, but there are others who say that there was no clear winner.
Each candidate had their own moment in delivering various blows to the credibility of their numerous opponents. The most recent polls in Canada show that the NDP has been leading the pack, with roughly 32% while the Tories aren't far behind at roughly 28%, followed by the Liberals, and then Green and the others.
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