Coverage of the UnDemocratic Canadian Federal Election Debates COMMENTARY by Jamie Gilcig – April 12, 2011 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – The debate has started and the blows are landing heavily on Stephen Harper who I caught reeling from a Michael Ignatieff blow early on.

Gilles Duceppe got in an early blow on the PM offering money to help Newfoundland hydro projects when Quebec had no Federal help.

Jack Layton reminisced and reminded Mr. Harper about the ideals that Mr. Harper used to support, but seems to have abandoned once elected.

“This is about the Economy.” Michael Ignatieff.

Michael Ignatieff just scored a point comparing a Billion dollars on the G8/G20 to giving free tuition for a year to Canadian University students.

The Cornwall Chamber of Commerce should listen to Jack Layton on Small Business.

What is the Vision for Canada on the World Stage?  What will you do as Prime Minister to Regain Canada’s reputation?

The rest of the world is looking at Canada and asking “What the Heck is going on?”   Jack Layton

Iggy and Layton battering each other on Afghanistan.

“You’re Mr. Harper’s best friend. ”  Jack Layton to Michael Ignatieff

Ignatieff is doing quite well as a speaker.  It’s a shame he couldn’t find a moment to speak with us while he was in Cornwall instead giving time to Conservative media that trash him regularly.

Harper’s turn to jump in on Afghanistan.  Now Duceppe.  Ow, Gilles just compared Harper’s foreign policy to the Bush government.

He just slapped Harper with Kairos and how groups that don’t agree with Harper get cut off financially.

Harper’s facial expressions are showing his disdain for Mr. Ignatieff.   This is starting to look personal….

G8/G20 Time.

What are you afraid of?  Iggy to Stevie on bringing out the “Real Report”.

Mr. Harper Canadians know why we’re having an election.  Some are quite frustrated it’s taken this long.

Ignatieff just Oda’d Mr. Harper.

“We’re having an election because the opposition saw an opportunity.”  Stephen Harper

I swear I saw his nose grow when he said that.

Gilles just shook his finger at Mr. Harper.    I hope some of this video makes it to You Tube.

Mr. Layton is talking about Senate members up on fraud charges.

Ignatieff just scored points big time capping the Harper government vision on Foreign policy.   Harper spinning.


Harper is up first and he wants a majority government.    Iggy counters that we’re having an election because Mr. Harper didn’t tell the truth to Parliament.

“We need to rebuild our Democracy after Mr. Harper.” Michael Ignatieff.

Stevie is spinning the contempt conviction and is talking about his budget.  Hammering about wanting a majority.

Iggy counters that Harper hasn’t earned a majority.  Nails him about throwing out someone because of their Facebook page and tossing a Veteran out of a Harper event.   Again asking what Harper is afraid of?

Ignatieff scoring major points now.  Harper trying to deflect to the Economy.   Iggy counters on Harper not telling the truth.

“You stiffed Parliament.”  Ignatieff to Harper.

Mr. Ignatieff is explaining to Mr. Harper how Parliament works.

Mr. Layton is now smacking Mr. Harper on how he can’t work with the other parties.

lol, Mr. Duceppe just mentioned meeting at the Delta hotel in Montreal ( a very nice hotel btw) about the letter formed to Adrienne Clarkson while she was GG.

Geez I wish Mr. Duceppe wanted to lead Canada instead of Quebec watching him in action.

OMG, Harper is trying to spin, that and the other leaders are laughing.

Harper spinning attack on Duceppe about Duceppe wanting to be Kingmaker for a coalition.   Mr. Layton calls out Mr. Harper again for lying.

Iggy just got nailed by Layton for pointing out that he’s the only option to Mr. Harper.    He’s trying to spin out of the hole on this one.  Jack just asked Iggy why he’s been Harper’s best friend.

Duceppe just nailed Mr. Harper again on the confidence of Parliament being needed to form government.

Stevie is back on wanting his majority.

Jack Layton is pointing out that Mr. Harper wanting to lead the country with less than 50% of the votes.   Just called out how the Bloc have a ton of seats with about the same amount of votes as the Greens who have no seats.    Just called for Proportional Representation and the abolishment of the Senate.

Iggy is capping all the sins of Stephen Harper spelling out why Canada needs a new leader.

“I don’t accept the truths of your attacks.” Stephen Harper.

Layton just asked Iggy about why he has the worst attendance record in Parliament.   Ignatieff ignores Layton’s attack and takes another shot at Mr. Harper.  Good one on him.

Social Mix and Immigrants – lol, first question to Duceppe 🙂   He’s against Multi-Culuralism and that new immigrants have to fit into Quebec.   Geez we need to make this guy a Canadian!

Jack talks about medical mentorships.   Mr. Duceppe is asking Mr. Layton about his vision of Quebec autonomy and immigration policy?

Mr. Duceppe is cornering Mr. Layton on Bill 101 in Quebec.  Jack is skating on his answer.

Iggy is talking about language funding and settling fees for immigrants so that they can better acclimate and learn our official languages.

Jack & Stephen are debating Settlement funding for immigrants.

I think Mr. Duceppe’s thought’s on Multi-culturalism is that of most Canadians.  Mr. Harper turns ugly and lashes out that the Bloc want to break up Canada???

Mr. Layton is scoring points about making it easier for immigrant families to reunite in Canada.

Public Safety

Mr. Ignatieff scores early about not importing US style justice and jails.

Duceppe scored a blow pointing out that Mr. Harper is soft on crime, just look at his own office.

Iggy just pointed out that most violent offenders in jail have no graduated High School.

Mr. Layton connects to the dots between crime prevention and poverty and giving kids hope.

Mr. Harper is defending himself and blaming the opposition for calling an election.

Mr. Duceppe points out how Mr. Harper has used crime bills for political gain and instead of segregating issues lumps all of his goals into one bill.

Mr. Layton is focusing on poverty’s connection again and pointing out that Big corporate tax giveaways cut the dollars to help people in poverty.

Mr. Ignatieff just gave Mr. Harper an opening by bringing up Gun Control and the Gun registry.


Mr. Harper is scoring points on Gun control pointing out how Farmer’s ask why big city issues keep restricting them.

Mr. Duceppe pointed out how Quebecers want gun control and the Registry, but that the majority of Canada were of the opposite opinion.

Healthcare time!

Yeah on Jack for Home Care and Drug costs!   He’s now pounding that Mr. Harper would support privatization.

Jack just scored more points sharing that Mr. Harper’s previous party and affiliations were quite supportive of Privatization.   Mr. Harper is spinning about exploration of “options”….

Mr. Duceppe is talking about letting the provinces do their work, but Quebec has far too many private health care services.  Doctors here in Cornwall for example actually recommend to their patients that say need, hip replacements, that if they can afford it to get it done privately in Montreal rather than wait and suffer in their late stages of life.

Iggy is saying it’s all about choices.   Healthcare or big tax breaks, jets, and prisons.

I like that Jack has hammered at Big Pharma twice now.

Points to Iggy on more Canadian foods and less salt, sugar, and fats.   Oooh, Iggy just took a low shot at Jack.

They are fighting on raising corporate taxes.  Mr. Ignatieff wants an 18% tax rate.  Mr. Harper states that if you raise taxes you’ll lose jobs.

Closing Statements

Jack’s first shot at the Grits, then Tories.   Summing up the negatives….new doctors and nurses, credit card fees capped, fees for pensions.  Very short.

Gilles – Opposition parties recogknize Quebec as a nation.   Quebecers have the right to make their own choices and need to make their own country.  Bloc there to represent their interests.   Harper hides his interests.    A vote for the bloc in Quebec is a vote against a Harper majority.

Iggy – Mr. Harper doesn’t have your priorities – jets jails, corporate givaways.   Eduction, the Liberal  Learning passport, early learning and child care, home reno, restore Canada’s proud place in the world.  Choice of Liberals or Canada.

Harper – Grateful for being PM for 5 yerars – creating jobs, taxes low, emerging from recession stronger faster, 1000 points of light. renewed mandate,  Conservative Majority his best solution.

I actually get asked by people who to vote for.   I always ask them what’s important to them and then suggest they learn what candidates feel about those issues.

For me the biggest challenge facing Canada is HEALTH CARE.  The Economy is a close second but these two issues are entwined mightily.

Again for me tonight was a failure of our Democracy.   As Mr. Layton pointed out the Bloc was at the Debate while Ms May, leader of the Greens was not even though they both represented about the same amount of voters in the last election.   Does that make sense to you?

Mr. Harper gets a B.   I know, my own partisan feelings should probably give him a lower rating, but the reality is that he didn’t lose his cool like Michael Ignatieff did a few times and for that he gets credit as he had 2 1/2 sharks swimming around him.   He played defense and kept the score to a minimum, like a Jacques Martin kinda hockey game.   Of course Mr. Martin has never won a Stanley Cup akin to Mr. Harper never having won a Majority government mandate.

Mr. Ignatieff gets a B- for taking a few low blows to Mr. Layton.   Fighting with the NDP on this occasion while perhaps a bit strategic I feel actually helped Mr. Harper which is in the end where the grail is; beating Mr. Harper.    He did much better than I thought he would and was much better than John Kerry, the US politician I like to compare him to.

He scored some major points, but then he was supposed to.     There so much vulnerability to the Harper team and it’s his job as leader of the opposition to do so.   I’m not sure the timing of this election was the best for Canada.   I know it’s best for him, but again overall he did better than I expected.

Mr. Layton had a good evening.  No real faux pas, but no home runs.   He offered meat.  He offered potatoes, but there was no after dinner desert or bevvy.    I’m sure this just might help him, but he needed a home run, not a single or double.

Gilles Duceppe.   What a truly Canadian enigma when the strongest defender of Canadian values and probably the most honest politician at the podium is the one that wants to create a country in Quebec that would essentially break apart Canada?   Mr. Duceppe showed some fire and got some major body blows in.   I think he did the most damage to Mr. Harper on the evening.

Democracy aside though this debate really needed Ms May’s energy.    Mr. Harper did not have that hard a night.

The Winner on the evening?  I’m not quite sure…..  The Loser?  Canada sadly.   We can do better.  We must do better.

You can post your comments below.   What did you think of the debate?  Did you even watch the debate?


Choose Cornwall


  1. Sorry Jamie was using an incorrect email address ….
    Gilles Duceppe got in an early blow on the PM offering money to help Newfoundland hydro projects when Quebec had no Federal help
    an early blow??? why support a province that does not support the country?

    Iggy wants to offer students $1500 loan forgiveness for so many hours in humanitarian projects abroad. $1500 out of $60, 000 and university dean earning 1 million dollars

    Layton wants to increase a presence in Afghanistan, yet he thinx new planes are a waste of money.

    Duceppe questions our foriegn policy yet he can’t play well with Canada himself.

    Iggy claims the budget was hidden yet oddly enouhg he knows the cost of jets and prisons.

    Layton is on about climate change, yet we have Kyoto

    Harper threw a gut out of his office cuz of face book, yet teachers are warned about facebook interaction..

    I mean really was it a debate

  2. Oh and what is an Afghan? They are actually referred to as Pashtun. However this is Iggy and all in all was not all that impressive

  3. Can we just pick up the whole political system, shake it like and etchasketch and start over?

  4. Love, love, love Gilles Duceppe!!! As you say, Jamie, it’s too bad he is only representing Quebec. He’s honest and truly fights for the interests of his constituents. I like that he considers the issues of all parties on an individual basis, instead of because of the party that put them forward. He probably does represent a lot of Canadians’ viewpoints when he says multiculturalism hasn’t worked, although not many would admit it.
    I thought the best zinger of the evening was from Jack Layton, whom I also admire: “Why do we need to build more jails when the crooks seem quite happy in the Senate??” Good question, indeed!
    Ignatieff was pretty good at hammering away at Harper about democreacy and not being so closed and secretive. I much prefer the thought of him being PM to Harper.
    And Harper, he was clearly locked into a scripted performance and seemed kind of “wooden”, if you know what I mean. Not much to offer and he just kept repeating the coalition bull and acting as if he was an innocent victim of schoolyarrd bullies, when he engineered the whole situation….

  5. A man of Russian decent,who wants to weaken our military,put sexual offenders in special programs and let them walk the streets, enforce a long gun registry,raise taxes on everyone and do nothing for healthcare,form coalitions with seperatists,this guy scares me and my family.Go back where you came from!Jack Layton has no clue.I got kids to feed,not senior citizens.My Grandma is happy on her farm!If theres gonna be a seperation in Canada,let it be Saskatchewan west!As for Elizibeth May,I think she should have been in the debate,maybe Stevie could give her a job getting rid of the fat kid who mis quoted the AG.And for Stephen Harper,You have got my vote,my faith and my support!BRAAAP!

  6. Author

    love that post nic!

  7. Jamie
    A few questions on yout article.
    Why do you call it the Undemocratic Federal Election Debate?
    Is it to do with the Greens again?
    If so you seem to be missing an important bit of information, They do not meet the requirements set out for a party to be recognised. If we use the approach you seem to be trying to enforce we should too see all parties involved
    Animal Alliance, Canadian Action Party, Christian Heritage Party, Communist Party of Canada, Communist/Marxist-Leninist, First Peoples National Party, Libertarian Party and one of my favs, Marijuana Party.

    The requirements for the greens to attend is no different then any other requirements for work if you will, you must be qualified,. Apply it to schools, should an individual recieve a passing grade just for attending?

    Iggy stated Harper tossed a person out due to comments on his facebook page, also accsuing Harper of being affraid of the difficult question.

    Iggy never stated the question leaving the statement kind of vague.
    We can alos consider how OSSTF and OCT has recently informed teachers about conduct on facebook. The reprecussions for iginring the warnings can be met with disciplinary actions.

    What is the difference there.

    You make a great point about Health Care, but how can you have stable health care with out a stable economy. HEalth care is based on taxation and with out a stable economy there is no work and no taxes. Plus it is provincial, and you can bet your sweet bippy if Harper brings down the gauntlet on needless spending in health care it will be met with disdain. Contrary to ppopular belief is is people such as Despatie in Cornwall which cause health care to fail, not lack of funding. It is Dr’s charging seniors to submit a renewed persctiption to drig stores that fail the system not the money to pay for it….

    As for Duceppe I think if we want change there we should take a page from Egypt, Lybia, and north Africa. As Canadians we should revolt and hold our own referendum to oust the party from federal politics. Duceppe asked Harper is they, Quebec, alone could be responsible for immigration into Quebec. In light of Jacques Parizeau’ commenst following the referendum, “we lost because of the dam immigrants” I think Duceppe is proposing a racial platform. All the while wanting to better our Global reputation

  8. Admin, did we watch the same debate? I saw Stephen Harper as the clear winner, seconded by Jack Layton (which surprised even me) Michael Ignatieff lost his cool a few times but thats because he’s not a politician and he gets an F. We won’t even talk about Gilles Duceppe as he is considered a “non-starter” in the ROC. Hopefully Stephen Harper will right the wrong about the number of votes garnered by Gilles Duceppe and Elizabeth May….while she had a couple of hundred thousand votes less she got no seats in Parliament while the BLOC got about 50. Thats not fair at all. We need proportional representation! In closing, Stephen Harper definitely won the debate with Jack Layton coming in second place.

  9. Jamie

    Did you not think Duceppe lost it as well?

  10. Author

    No Smee. I thought Duceppe did quite well.

  11. It was a fairly interesting “debate”. Harper did well in that he kept his temper under control. Lots of people have commented that he looked medicated, and that’s OK as long as it kept his head from exploding while under attack. Layton was great when attacking Ignatieff for being Harper’s best friend for the last 2 1/2 years (true), and for his dismal Parliamentary attendance record (not true). Ignatieff did as well as could be expected for a first-timer. Duceppe was Duceppe. He was there for a good time, and there’s a reason why he’s so popular in Quebec. He’s smart, focused, and works hard for Quebec.
    No big game changing “knock-out punches” that I could see.

  12. what did you think about Duceppe wanting control over immigration into Quebec. I wonder how much latitude the liberals would give him on that topic to get elected

  13. @ smee. Not sure about that. As an Anglo who grew up in Quebec during the fifties and sixties, I can sure understand why the Quebecois are determined to preserve their language and culture. People immigrating to Canada have a choice as to whether they embrace the Quebec culture, or the cultures of other provinces. That’s one of the amazing things about our country. We have places that are quite sophisticated, seriously red-neck, and everything in between. Just about all the immigrants that I know who have settled in Quebec are trilingual, and happy to be there.

  14. Furtz
    Lest we forget what Jacques Parizeau’ said following the referendum, “we lost because of the dam immigrants”. It is the same mentality Duceppe is encouraging. Quebec will disallow people not supporting their policies. That in itself is racial and prejudicial.

    Just look at what they already have, the rest of Canada must be bilingual to some degree, however in Quebec no English.

    All in all if Quebec wishes to separate they should at least support the interest. Then industry would leave the province again for starters. Then perhaps if government has balls they could draw back all the loans given industry that chooses to stay. Or withdraw our currency from Quebec and ask for all infrastructure loans to be paid.

    It is a no win scenario for the province yet it does continually cost the rest of Canada a huge chunk of our tax dollars.

    If we really want to know who won the debate, it would have to be Duceppe. Hhe still stands in the house as a federal party yet is done so under special privileges.

  15. Yes Smee.. I remember that well. Parizeau was drunk, badly disappointed, and said some pretty stupid stuff. How many years ago was that? It’s a whole different game, and time in history now. The Separatist movement in Quebec has been dead for many years now. Duceppe isn’t serious about Quebec leaving Canada. He’s just a left over folk hero who happens to to do a great job in Ottawa for Quebec interests.
    As for the requirement to speak French in Quebec, I NEVER have a problem when I visit Quebec, and I only speak English. If I wanted to work there, I’d learn French. If you want to experience hostility, I would suggest that you try ordering a hamburger in Alberta or BC while speaking French.

Leave a Reply