Thoughts on “Some #TorCen Candidates #TorCendb8 – November 20 – Jarvis Collegiate

Toronto Centre Debates Reports

Report 1Rogers TV – Some Candidates Debate – Nov. 13/13

Report 2St. Michael’s College Attempted Debate – Nov. 16/13

Report 3Toronto Centre “FATCA Centric” ALL Candidates – Nov. 18/13

Report 4Steve Paikan Discussion with Some Candidates – Nov. 20/13

Report 5Jarvis Collegiate – Some Candidates – November 20/13

November 20, 2013 – Jarvis Collegiate – 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

First when the debate finally unfolded (more on this in a moment) the content was very similar to the Steve Pakin discussion. You will find some of my comments and a link to the podcast here. The Pakin discussion provides better content. Okay, back to Jarvis Collegiate.

The Opening Act – The Rights of Candidates

This debate was apparently organized by a number of associations in the Toronto Centre riding. It was moderated by a well known person – John Tory. It was NOT an All Candidates Debate. Once again, the organizers excluded a majority of the Candidates. This is a mistake and organizers who exclude candidates will continue to pay a price. This was no exception. I am surprised that the organizers didn’t learn from the debate on November 16 at St. Michael’s College. Those who are following these “debates” will recall that the behaviour of two candidates (which was linked to their not being invited) forced the “shut down” of the debate.

The opening act of the evening was Independent Candidate Candidate’s John Turmel protesting his exclusion from the debate. He stood on the stage and delayed the start of the debate (about 20 minutes) and was eventually removed by the police. Wouldn’t the better solution have been to just allow him to participate? Love him or hate him, he is a candidate on the ballot.

The Debate Itself

Moderator John Tory – He did an adequate job.


Geoff Pollock – Conservative – Winner

Linda McQuaig – NDP – Winner

Chrystia Freeland – Liberal – Loser

John Deverell – Green Party – Loser

Okay, let me explain my thinking/feeling. I emphasize these are only my thoughts and there are of course never clear winners or losers.

In politics people will always vote for somebody who stands for something over somebody who stands for nothing.

Geoff Pollock and Linda McQuaig (whether you like their messages) stand for something.

Chrystia Freeland and John Deverell stand for little or nothing.


John Deverell is an intelligent and engaging man. But, he cannot answer every question by explaining the need for electoral reform. We get the need for electoral reform. But, he needs to respond to questions pertaining to what he might do once he is elected.

Chrystia Freeland – This is a bit more complicated. Her job is to demonstrate that she is a better candidate than Linda McQuaig. The problem is that she simply does NOT take charge of the discussion. She reacts to Linda McQuaig rather than responding to her.


Linda McQuaig started to talk about the British economist John Maynard Keynes (who in the audience even knows about Keynes. Furthermore, the man has been discredited for years). Rather than just dismissing any discussion of a discredited British Economist, Freeland actually tired to “one up” McQuaig with her “knowledge” of Keynes.

Linda McQuaig started to talk about a 1995 decision by the then Liberal Finance Minister Paul Martin to stop funding a National Housing Plan. The obvious response is:

Ms. McQuaig – you are in a “time warp”, didn’t you know this is 2013. You know 18 years later. What might have been the right decision in 1995 might not be the right decision now.

Freeland lets McQuaig get under her skin letting her get drawn into a “cat fight”.

Next, Freeland has got to stop the constant discussion about Justin Trudeau.

Once again, I am left with the feeling that I don’t know what Chrystia Freeland thinks about anything (although I understand she wants to be elected).

Geoff Pollock – A good debater, possibly the most effective to the group. The message is loud and clear: He supports the Harper Government and is proud to be the Conservative Candidate. On a more subtle note, he is the only candidate that provides any evidence of actually doing anything for the community (pro bono legal aid).

Linda McQuaig:

She was the dominant voice in last nights debate. This came through most clearly in the discussion about taxes (corporate and otherwise).

Whether you agree or disagree with her ultimate conclusions, she was the candidate who actually linked to taxes to public financing (which is what they are for).

Her main points:

1. Lowering the corporate tax rate is a “give away” to corporations if all the corporations do is sit on the money. She therefore argues that:

– tax cuts for corporations should be linked to job creation

– there is room for tax rates to go and still keep them competitive. (U.S. corporate tax rates are roughly twice Canadian corporate tax rates).

Frankly, I was waiting for her to propose at tax on “parked money” (that would be scary).

2. Lowering the HST not desirable.

3. She focused on her view that “offshore tax evasion” is a threat to Canada’s economy. Whether true or not, she could not offer any specific numbers of evidence to support this. Her opposition to “offshore tax evasion” may be linked to Linda McQuaig’s possible support of FATCA.

Final thoughts

For the most part boring. Nothing new. Chrystia Freeland needs to do a better job tonight at Rosedale United Church which is a smaller venue.

Further advice for Ms Freeland:

The fact that Ms. McQuaig is in a “time warp” doesn’t mean you have to be. If she starts talking about Keynes. Say Keynes was discredited years ago. Also, sit still and and look at the audience.

Finally, stop talking about Justin. It’s not clear that he an asset to the Liberal Party.


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