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Non-answers and vacuity abound in day one of Election 2021


Non-answers and vacuity abound in day one of Election 2021

For fans of word salads the opening remarks by the leaders of the Liberal and Conservative parties on the first day of the election constituted a feast. There is a new phenomenon in party leaders’ interactions with the media that goes beyond the non-answer—its now a response that totally ignores any part of the question or even that the question was ever asked.

For example, Justin Trudeau has had months to get ready for this question  

A French-speaking reporter took another crack at the same line of questioning

Another reporter, perhaps recalling that Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson resigned after guiding his party to two straight minorities asked Trudeau thusly:

Following Trudeau’s announcement at Rideau Hall, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole met reporters in Montreal. As expected he deplored the calling of an election in the middle of the fourth wave of the pandemic. Quickly though. He found himself confronted with remarks he made Friday disagreeing with the Trudeau announcement Friday that all members of the Canadian Forces will be required to vaccinate. He told reporters he was in favour of vaccinations, that he and his wife had videotaped their vaccinations, that he favoured masks, and that he would even go along with vaccine passports as long as the provinces instituted them. But then…

For his Part NDP leader Jagmeet Singh also in Montreal showing off his fluency in French, which is pretty good actually, has the benefit of third party status which allows him to speak more clearly about his party’s platform which is, (as it has been since the party was founded six decades ago and yet perversely still uses the word “New” ) “make the rich pay.” Singh’s challenge is to somehow take credit for all the measures he says he forced Trudeau to take, and yet show enough difference between the NDP and the Liberal’s that would make a difference to voters.

It will be interesting to see how the September 20th election unfolds in the current phase of the pandemic, Mass rallies with hundreds or thousands of adoring supporters, something that would favour the Trudeau campaign style, will have to be scaled back. For O’toole, he has gone about as far as he can with his COVID policies without alienating an extreme element in his party. He does have an overflowing campaign war chest which he will need to tap to introduce himself to voters.  For Singh, who despite his likeable style led his party to its poorest showing in 15 years in the last election, and despite launching his campaign in Montreal, there will be no Jack Layton breakthrough in la Belle Province, but he could do damage to the Liberals in the GTA and BC.

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