I thought it was the best debate so far, if only because at long last it was all about our precious and very threatened Canadian values.
And as predicted, as soon as Stephen Harper stopped groping the hands of his opponents, he set out to destroy them.
By reaching into Lynton Crosby's sweaty bag of dirty wedge issues, and challenging his opponents to criticize his decision to strip a convicted terrorist wannabe of his Canadian citizenship.
And since it is such an explosive wedge issue, I was glad to see the way Justin Trudeau rose to the challenge.
In one memorable exchange over a 2015 law that allows Ottawa to strip the citizenship of dual citizens convicted of serious crimes, Mr. Harper confronted Mr. Trudeau over his unwillingness to take such a measure. “Are you seriously saying … we should never be able to revoke citizenship from somebody? Why would we not revoke the citizenship of people convicted of terrorist offences against this country?” Mr. Harper said to applause from the Munk debate audience at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.
Mr. Trudeau suggested the measure was un-Canadian. “You devalue the citizenship of every Canadian in this place and in this country when you break down and make it conditional for anybody. … We have a rule of law in this country and you can’t take away citizenship of an individual because you don’t like what someone does.”
Not only because there are a lot of dual citizens in this country who want to hear that message. Or because it was a brave move considering what standing up for our values seems to have done to Tom Mulcair and the NDP in Quebec.
But also because the aggressive way he handled it, it seems to me, is the only way to handle that dangerous wedge issue.
Which is being frantically peddled by people like Jason Kenney.
Justin Trudeau openly declares convicted terrorists "should get to keep their CDN citizenship" http://t.co/aNEHPc2F8R pic.twitter.com/TS5zz1DdZm— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) September 28, 2015
As only that old political hooker could...
And it also suggests that with so little time remaining, it may turn out that Trudeau is our best hope of surviving that onslaught of xenophobic filth.
By simply as Michael Harris writes, best embodying change.
You will read a lot of stories about the substance of the issues discussed but don’t be fooled. This whole event was an exercise in three men trying to snip off the family jewels of the others. The script was foreign policy, but the drama was all politics. Trudeau excelled by doing two things: showing passion and touching the emotional buttons usually the domain of Harper.
Here is the irony. Mulcair, ever intelligent, blessed with a voice that could charm the pants off anything that has pants, and smarter than anyone in Canadian politics, looked a little old-fashioned in this contemporary gunfight at the OK Corral. There are new weapons in play these days – charm, charisma, and energy. In a word, Mulcair suffered from the defect of his best point; his calm, cerebral arguments were being directed against a younger man who is the incarnation of both generational and political change.
Mulcair was playing brilliant chess; Trudeau was engaged in a game of thrones.
The kind of change that can sweep away all before it, including all that Con garbage.
And wreck Harper and Lynton Crosby's best laid plans...
But of course, there are still 20 days to go, As the threat of a Harper victory grows, a lot of progressives are just looking to back the leader they believe has the best chance of stopping him.
And waiting as they are in Quebec, to create a massive progressive wave.
It doesn’t much matter to many voters whether the swell is red or orange — talking to voters on the doorsteps in three Montreal-area ridings, it is clear that the vast majority want a new federal government but two out of three said they have not yet decided whether to back the Liberals or New Democrats.
So anything could happen.
But if we are to win it's absolutely essential that the anti-Harper forces not use up all their Canadian values ammunition fighting those monstrous wedge issues, as Harper would want us to do. Because our bullets will only bounce off them.
Instead we need to focus our fire on the real issues of the campaign, the corruption and incompetence of the Con regime. His brutish assault on our democracy. And his plan to kill our Canadian values by strangling our Canadian institutions like medicare and the CBC.
As he made only too clear yesterday.
As if he hadn't damaged the CBC enough...
As if ratings were all that mattered.
And the good news? That brave CBC crew should inspire us. For by daring to confront the danger of that deadly epidemic to show the suffering of its victims, they were in their way standing up for our values. And showing us why they and our institutions matter.
So we must not be discouraged. We can still win, or hold Harper to a minority and topple him two weeks later.
We just need to attack the Cons harder than ever before, work even harder to get out the vote, and spread our message of hope and change.
And of course send this message to Harper and his foul regime:
You will not steal our country by destroying our values.
Or as Blue Rodeo says in this new video, by stealing our dreams...
To which I would only add this:
You will not scare us or distract and divide us with your disgusting wedge issues.
The wave of change is coming.
And it will swamp you...
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