Skip to main content

We are moving into debate week. Fairly or not, there is an expectation that there is much on the line for all candidates. I want to look at two of them - the Prime Minister and the want-to-be Leader of the Opposition, Jack Layton. First, though, a word about Mr. Dion.

Mr. Dion has much experience debating. There were many during the Liberal leadership race in 2006. Mr. Dion has said in other places he'll win both the English and French debates. Ms. May will probably help him try and do that. Mr. Dion's skills are not to be underestimated, though he has set the bar high.

Mr. Layton seems to have more ants in his pants than normal. He appears to be buoyed by polls that either show him tied with the Liberals or close behind them. He is going to use the debates as a platform to try to get the vote on the left galvanized behind him. While he has done well in this campaign, he sometimes comes across as a mix between the video professor on the Shopping Channel and a used car salesman. Canadians are going to want see less of that mixed persona and more of a refined style befitting someone who would be Prime Minister.

Story continues below advertisement

For Mr. Harper, success in the debate comes from holding your own and eking out a draw. When you are the incumbent everyone attacks you. You are subjected - or least will be in this debate - to a 4-on-1 assault. The PM might end up feeling like Stephane Dion at a Liberal caucus meeting. However, unlike Mr. Dion, the PM is a proven and competent leader. He is strong and capable, no matter how fierce the fire, and on Wednesday and Thursday those attributes will shine through.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.