The “debate” featured five moderators questioning six party leaders, but only two have a real chance of winning. Madness.
At the risk of offending the three fringe parties (and the socialists of NDP) who have no chance of forming a government, let’s focus on the two men who are in contention to be prime minister: Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and leader of the Conservative party of Canada Andrew Scheer.
Eager observers of international affairs are perhaps aware of one candidate: Trudeau. He is an international liberal superstar who we now know has a penchant for blackface. I hate to bring it up, but how can one not?
It’s impossible to explain how much of a shock this came to every Canadian — left, right or center. Nobody saw this coming. This was like being told that President Trump spends every Sunday evening quietly washing dishes in the back of a homeless shelter. It just did not compute.
The first photo was devastating. The fact that the picture was in a high school yearbook, hiding in plain sight, was baffling. The second photo, found in a school newsletter, suggested there was a pattern at work. The third blackface photo was not in a yearbook but I think it was found on Google Earth. Much to the embarrassment of Canadian journalists, it had been there for years, visible from space. Nobody had reported it.
One would think that this insanely devastating turn of events for the liberals would be great news for the conservatives.
Not so much. Turns out Scheer also had a few secrets to reveal.
For starters, he is also an American citizen, even registered for the draft. In theory, being an American is not a bad thing — most Canadians think people with joint citizenship are simply lucky — but the weird thing is he never told anyone. He was that unheard-of creature, an American who is either embarrassed or ashamed to admit it.
This was a new one. Canada’s conservatives have always been comfortable in the closet, but this is the first time one has been outed as a American citizen.
Canadians need to think this one through. What do we do in the event of a yet-undeclared American war when the Canadian prime minister is drafted and ordered to work in the cafeteria on an aircraft carrier?
So these are the main options before Canadians:
Trudeau, a social progressive who legalized marijuana and loves the gays (if he wasn’t so enthusiastically straight he would marry a dude on principle) and won’t allow anyone to run for his party who does not support a woman’s right to choose. He also wears colorful socks.
Or Scheer, who begrudgingly says he will respect the constitution to protect gays and lesbians under the law but whose faith means he cannot attend a pride picnic. He’s not big on women controlling their own bodies but also goes along with it and says he will protect it because it’s the law. As one conservative insider said, “who knew gray came in so many shades.”
During the debate Monday night Trudeau’s knees never buckled — despite multiple punches to the head, he seemed oblivious. It’s a skill he has always had — oblivious to blows to the head. Interpret as you may.
But was there a winner? No.
In the end, we were left with irony — the greatest thing both leaders have going for them is that their opponent is underwhelming and not particularly liked.
On Oct. 21 Canadians will plug their noses and go to the polls.
Nobody can call this one.