I didn’t watch all of last night’s debate so I only got small impressions of what was going on from quick peeks, and  checking Twitter.  We’re no further ahead than when we started.

If Thomas Mulcair’s intention was to be reassuring he may have achieved that.  He made a fresh pitch to Canadians, relating a lot of his answers back to his resume as if to say “I have the experience, I can do this job”.  But I’m still left with a some questions.  One is about the cap & trade: How much will it cost? The moderator asked that but he sidestepped the answer.  The other question is about the plan to raise the corporate tax rate. It is an increase, but isn’t the technical term a rollback when you’re using 2009 levels? Another question I had is: If he had to choose between a $15 minimum wage, and a $15/day childcare program what would he pick?

Someone tweeted that Justin Trudeau looked like an earnest undergraduate with Very Important Things to say.  That’s the impression I got of him too. There’s a fire, and enthusiasm that wasn’t there in debate #1. Sometimes it got the better of him. His opening statement sounded a little like a campaign ad.  And he kept stumbling over the word deficit.   Is it a smart move to run a $30 billion deficit over 3 years? It’s debatable; it might seem like good debt if there are accountability measures in place to assure this money is used for infrastructure.  But generally I’ve always thought it’s not a good idea to carry more debt than you can afford to pay off.  And then there’s the idea to tax those making over $200 thousand/ year.  It’s not a stretch to imagine some of those of people may own small businesses.  Wouldn’t that potentially encourage the behavior Trudeau is already accusing wealthier Canadians of; using small businesses for tax havens?

This should’ve been Stephen Harper’s debate to win.  At times he was defensive; a part of that is a normal.  He is the incumbent running on a 10-year old record.  However I got an impression he didn’t present many new ideas to compare to the other parties.  He also came out flat on the immigration, and refugee questions.  If I were the other leaders the question I would love to ask would be: If we cleaned up the process, how big of a difference would it make to our economy?  You have so many people who come here with professional degrees, yet are unable to find jobs.

Everyone is still in fighting form. And there are still plenty of questions.  To watch the Globe& Mail debate click here

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