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article imageCanada: Liberal Party Leadership Debate— Garneau targets Trudeau

By Karl Gotthardt     Mar 3, 2013 in Politics
Halifax - Front runners of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) leadership race exchanged punches during the fourth of five debates in Halifax, NS. Marc Garneau accused Justin Trudeau of having no substance, in turn Trudeau accused Garneau of negative campaigning.
During the second to last time the candidates took to the stage for a debate, Justin Trudeau was again the target of the other candidates. Marc Garneau, who had challenged Trudeau to a one on one debate earlier, accused the perceived front runner of avoiding the big ticket platform issues, lacking substance and full with empty words.
I believe that Canadians want to see substance. They don’t want empty words. They may not like what I have to say, but at least they will know where I stand.
Trudeau fired back and accused Garneau of negative campaigning, the type of campaign Canadians did not want to see. Trudeau in the past has boasted of running a positive campaign. he also re-emphasized that he was against the Northern Gateway pipeline, which would run from Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia and that he supported the legalization of marijuana.
That's why I'm restlessly positive in this campaign, and that's why the top-down, backroom heavy negative campaign that has been run by other people in this campaign is something that I don't think Liberals want to see.
According to the National Post Garneau wrangled with Trudeau, arguing that liberals must not make the same mistake, they have made in the past by choosing the wrong leader. Garneau was attempting to point out his much longer resume, as a Captain in the Canadian Navy, an astronaut and as head of the Canadian Space Agency.
Trudeau, confidently pushed back and said that the mistake was not that the party trusted the wrong leader but stopped trusting Canadians.
The challenge wasn’t that we made a mistake in trusting the wrong leader in the past. The challenge we have is that we stopped trusting Canadians and we imposed from the top-down a policy that Canadians didn’t want.
Merging with the NDP
Much of the debate centered around defeating Prime Minister Stephen Harper's conservative government. The debate within the LPC has often included a possible merger with the New Democrats (NDP).
Joyce Murray has had a recent surge with her message of a sustainable economy and a possible electoral cooperation with the NDP to defeat Stephen Harper. Trudeau rejected the idea of a merger, stating that the federal NDP is playing dangerous games in Quebec around separatism by pandering to Quebec.
How do we defeat Stephen Harper and replace him with not just a different government, but with a better government. We have a federal NDP that is playing dangerous games around separatism by pandering to Quebec. … We need better than that.
Garneau also questioned Murray on her proposal to cooperate with the NDP, stating that Thomas Mulcair had stated that the NDP would not work with the LPC.
The LPC picks its leader on April 14.
More about liberal party of canada, Justin trudeau, marc garneau, leadership race, Canadian Politics
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