Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday September 18, 2019
May and Singh are competing hard to finish third in this election
So far in the federal election race, Elizabeth May’s Greens and Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats remain in a virtual draw. Both leaders have, in effect, admitted that their parties have no chance at forming government. Rather, they are vying for third place in the hope of holding the balance of power should the Oct. 21 vote result in a hung Parliament.
This explains much of their behaviour. In Thursday’s leaders’ debate, for instance, they spent little time attacking Justin Trudeau, the absent Liberal prime minister. Rather they focused their ire on Conservative leader Andrew Scheer — and, to a lesser extent, on one another.
May accused Scheer of being a Donald Trump puppet, noting in particular his promise to follow the president’s lead by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
She didn’t mention that this idea had been floated 40 years ago by former Tory prime minister Joe Clark, a politician May lauded in 2015 as “wonderful.”
Singh accused Scheer of being opposed to gay marriage — citing remarks the Conservative leader made almost 15 years ago.
The reason for this combined NDP-Green animosity toward Scheer is practical. Both May and Singh are pitching to left-liberal voters who fear a Conservative victory.
To appeal to these voters, both May and Singh promote universal pharmacare. Both also insist that much, much more must be done to combat climate change.
May operates under a somewhat different calculus. A former Progressive Conservative staffer in the Brian Mulroney government, she hopes to attract disaffected Tory voters as well as those from the liberal-left.
To that end, she is promising — like Scheer — to balance Ottawa’s books in five years. She supports the idea of replacing most social programs with a guaranteed, or basic, annual income — a notion with fans on both the left and the right.
And on Thursday, she took Singh to task for promising universal, public denticare — a program she said was just too expensive. (Hamilton Spectator)