Scorecards from Leaders Debate


Last evening Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau and Elizabeth May debated politics and the Nation’s business at the Maclean’s Leaders Debate. The four leaders stepped into the ring for what may be the only “main event” of the election campaign.

In pugilistic terms, here’s how By George assessed the fight night.

From the opening bell, it was a three-on-one lynching, with Trudeau, Mulcair and May taking turns flailing away at Harper. The only relief the Prime Minister had through the fight was when Trudeau swung a few upper cuts in the direction of Mulcair. By fight standards, the public flogging was only moderately entertaining. Not a memorable evening.

Stephen “You-Never-Knocked-Me-Down” Harper survived his opponents’ barrages with skill and grace, bobbing and weaving, and countering with effective jabs. He suffered no knockdown and his steady, stand-in-toe-to-toe performance earned him high marks on the scorecards. Throughout the night, he looked confident, like “the champ”.

Justin Trudeau was the fight’s disputed winner with his shuffling, dancing and surprisingly effective jabs. “The Kid” showed flashes of a true contender as he outpaced and outscored Mulcair. Trudeau’s ring style and his sting gave him the extra marks on the scorecards to edge the Prime Minister’s gutsy performance.

Thomas Mulcair was the clear loser in the evening. He boxed a tight, conservative fight and failed to display any chutzpa. He was a stiff going through the motions. In fact, with many encounters, Mulcair floated like a bee and stung like a butterfly. For all the pre-fight fanfare, clearly, this was not his night.

Elizabeth May boxed well, landed a few blows, but proved more of a distraction from the main contest. She proved every bit pugnacious as the others, but it was all a bit much at times: Mulcair and Trudeau pushing Harper to the ropes and May swinging overtop to connect with the pinned Prime Minister. Ugly stuff.

So, here’s the call from the ring announcer:
The fight was a close but unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. And the winner – Justin “Can’t-Believe-He-Danced-the-Whole-Thing” Trudeau.

(Post-fight ring scene… With hands held high, both Trudeau and Harper circle the ring and smile to the rows of their supporters; and the cameras pan the mayhem to catch corner boys sponging off an upset Mulcair, with a look of pain knowing he wasted his chance.)


(Photo Credit: By Andman8, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)


  1. I agree with most of the analysis, though I would suggest Trudeau looked a bit befuddled on his closing comment. May is a complete and unnecessary distraction, but may actually help the PM split the progressive vote further.

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