Some of our readers are getting curious about the upcoming changes in our betting line for the current federal election. As I said when publishing a morning line back when the election was called, an updated morning line will be published after Labour Day. On further consideration though, I think it best to wait until after the two leadership debates.
It seems Canadians cannot be denied these leadership events. They have come to define each federal election. I can clearly remember a single moment in the 2011 English leadership debate that showed NDP leader Jack Layton beaming at Steven Harper. And it was Layton’s success in Quebec that year that kept Harper in the prime ministerial role. You have to admit that Harper owed Jack Layton that state funeral.
Both debates will offer liberal Justin Trudeau a chance to redeem himself. In French, he has to attack and demolish Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet. He can give him no quarter. Trudeau has to show Quebec voters that he can do more for them than the Bloc. He has to show up Blanchet as manipulative and untrustworthy. And he has to establish that he is the federal leader who can work most effectively with the popular CAQ government in Quebec City.
In English, he has to handle two opponents. While O’Toole of the conservatives and Singh of the NDP are irrelevant in the French debate, they are the key in English. Trudeau has to effectively link them as though their efforts against him are by a married couple.
In addition, Trudeau has to make a major concession in the English debate. He has to steal the newspaper headlines and the lead in broadcast news on Friday, September 10. The liberals have to be talking up his win in social media that weekend. I would strongly suggest that his best bet for a memorable headline is to cancel all work on the twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline. He cannot continue to talk about saving the planet in 20 or 30 years. He has to do something dramatic and now! Climate change is happening now.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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