मङ्गलबार, ०६ चैत २०७४, १३ : ३०

ANALYSIS: Canada election 2015: Alternative to Harper is not ready yet

Even though Harper faces attacks on first leaders’ debate of the election campaign on economy, environment –  appeared as only one till now available serious choice

Home renovator? Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen visit a tile and stone manufacturing company in Toronto on Tuesday, when he promised to bring back a popular home renovation tax credit that he previously axed.

Harper the most experienced debater on the stage – handled the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair, the Opposition leader, who remained calm and expertly picked his spots during the two-hour debate, a Green leader in Elizabeth May who, again, punched above her party’s weight when given the chance, and an eager, energized and at times hyper-aggressive Justin Trudeau who performed not bad, but acted as if he was getting paid by the word.

Throughout, Harper remained cool, but his bid to appear statesmanlike often came off too passive while was in the toughest spot. For Trudeau, this was a chance to show Canadians he had the gravitas to make this election a true three-way race and he passed, although there was no question he had the advantage of exceedingly low expectations.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, right, was weakest Thursday night when pushed on the economy.

Prime Minister Harper demonstrated that he is the only serious choice with proven real world experience, in contrast to Justin and Thomas Mulcair’s dangerous approaches that will lead to economic decline.

“Prime Minister Harper demonstrated experience, leadership and focus on the big issues that affect all Canadians: the economy and our country’s security. This debate only underscores that this election is not a popularity contest, it’s about serious leadership at a time of increasing instability and insecurity in the world. “Under Prime Minister Harper’s experienced leadership, taxes are down, our budget is balanced and our country is safe.

“This debate further underscores the choice in this election between Prime Minister Harper’s low-tax, job-creating plan, and the high-tax, high-debt plan proposed by Justin and Thomas Mulcair.

“At a time of great volatility in the world, now is not the time for Justin and Thomas Mulcair’s risky schemes that will raise taxes and set our country back. Now is the time to stay on track and stick to our plan.”

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Green party Leader Elizabeth May faced off in the first election debate Thursday evening.