By Graeme MacKay, Editorial Cartoonist, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday October 3, 2015
Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair battle each other as Stephen Harper pulls ahead
In this election campaign, Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair have nothing kind to say about each other.
New Democratic Party leader Mulcair dismisses Trudeau as a callow youth. Echoing Conservative attack ads, his New Democrats say the 43-year-old Liberal leader just isn’t ready to become prime minister.
From time to time, and again echoing the Conservatives, Mulcair dismissively refers to his Liberal rival as “Justin.”
Trudeau is no less harsh. He accuses Mulcair of duplicity — of saying one thing in French and another in English. He says the NDP, by pandering to Quebec separatists, threatens national unity.
He dredges up old charges that Mulcair, a former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister, once contemplated the idea of exporting fresh water in bulk.
All of this occurs at a time when Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are quietly edging up in the polls.
For the Liberals and New Democrats, the back and forth attacks make sense. Each hopes to present itself as the unique alternative to the governing Conservatives.
That in turn, they calculate, requires them to tear each other down.
But to a wide array of Liberal and NDP voters, the two opposition parties appear to be engaging in a game of mutually assured destruction.
These so-called progressive voters desperately want Harper gone. And they are horrified by the real possibility that this war to the death between Liberals and New Democrats will split the anti-Harper vote, thus allowing the Conservatives to win power again.
Recent polls have underscored those fears.
On Tuesday, Forum Research released a poll putting the Conservatives in first place among decided voters, with 34 per cent support. The NDP and the Liberals were significantly behind at 28 and 27 per cent respectively.
That follows an earlier Ekos poll that shows the Conservatives leading with 35 per cent support.
In fact, the possibility of a Conservative win has never been out of the question. Harper’s claim to be a good economic manager has always had resonance. (Continued: Toronto Star)
The Telegram, St. John’s, Newfoundland