Most days on the campaign trail, the leaders deliver a stump speech—the case for their election in its purest form. Here are the current stump speeches of the three main opposition leaders, reduced to their essence.
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair
Thank you for your applause. Please now draw your attention to my terrifying Hypno-Grin™.
People of Canada: Are you ready to replace the politics of fear and division? Are you ready to replace them with the politics of platitudes and sketchy math? Boy, are you in luck.
As prime minister, I will roll up my sleeves to build a strong, diverse, prosperous, knowledge-based economy that is sturdy enough to support six meaningless adjectives, instead of the four I just used.
We won’t hit the snooze button like Harper. We won’t hit the panic button like Trudeau. Instead, we’ll hit that awesome Easy button from those old Staples commercials. Boom, balanced budget—and many Bic pens for all! Truly, Canada is the greatest country in the world.
The centrepiece of our plan is an affordable new child care program. It’s going to be terrific. Too bad it’ll take so long that no one who currently has young children will benefit from it. Also, it will require provincial money, so it’ll probably never happen. To summarize: EVENTUAL CHILD CARE PROGRAM MAYBE!
An NDP government will spend more on health care. And on home care. We will also introduce universal drug coverage—which will cost an absolute fortune, but what the hell. Additionally, let us resolve to build a spaceship to rescue Matt Damon. Stay strong, Mr. Martian!
At this point, many of you probably expect me to make reference to Tommy Douglas. To you, I say: Tommy Douglas!
Ladies and gentlemen, I will build a Canada where every family gets ahead! I know that is quite literally an impossible goal—and in fact runs contrary to my stated mission of reducing inequality—but who are you, the fact-checking police? If so . . . [runs away].
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper
Friends, I am delighted to be here. Seriously, this is my “delighted” face. If you look closely, the corners of my mouth are ever so slightly . . . You know what? Let’s just agree I’m here and move on.
Friends, the world is a dangerous, unstable, volatile place. The global economy is weak, fragile and in turmoil. Asia is a mess. Europe is going to hell. My message to you: Do not leave the country. In fact, don’t even look at an atlas, or Canada will be plunged into eternal economic chaos.
Friends, did I mention the economy is fragile? You’re nodding, but I feel I haven’t mentioned it enough. The economy is fragile.
I’ll return to this point. The point about the economy being fragile.
Thankfully, friends—and let me just say: fragile—we have a Conservative government. Think about all we’re accomplishing without raising your taxes or borrowing a dime, unless you count the 1.5 trillion dimes we already added to the debt. Our plan going forward is clear: More jobs. Lower taxes. Prudent spending. Sentence fragments.
But friends, the other parties would take Canada down a very different path—a path that would lead to permanent deficits, widespread despair and a lawless Games of Thrones-style wasteland in which one out of every three small businesses is a whorehouse and the success of a wedding reception hinges entirely on limiting fatalities.
Let us remember, friends, that the Liberals ran deficits in the 1970s. If we give them the chance, friends, they’ll screw it up again, friends. Friends, friends don’t let friends friendsfriendsfriends.
Friends, on Oct. 19, every single vote is going to matter. Especially the ones for my party. The rest of you better have a fanny pack full of ID.
Friends, we have reached the part of my speech where I make a cursory reference to red-meat conservative issues: Putin bad. Israel good. Veterans good. Long-gun registry not a thing anymore but still bad! I will now elicit a standing ovation by proclaiming my support for our military, even though I’ve gravely undermined its ability to perform its duties.
In conclusion, friends, let me be clear: Fragile.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau
Wow. Whoa. Hello! I am humbled by this wild, sustained applause! [Does not appear to be humbled.] Are you ready for real change?! You are? That’s super.
This election is about you—unlike all previous elections, which were conducted simply to advance our understanding of lawn-sign durability.
Stephen Harper is out of touch with Canadians. Out of touch with Moms, saving for their kids’ education. Out of touch with Dads, working two jobs to make ends meet. Out of touch with other fictional constructs, like maybe a Grandpa who forgets things or a second cousin with a hook for a hand.
[Lowers raised voice. ]
[Re-raises unlowered voice.]
I’ve met with Canadians. I’ve looked you straight in the eye and told you what it will take to grow our economy. Then I’ve held that eye contact a little too long. Does this make you uncomfortable, sir? Your wife didn’t seem to mind.
By the way, I still haven’t blinked. I’m good at this because eye-staring takes up, like, 40 per cent of my day. And now I give you a subtle little wink. That’s a special gift just for you, amigo.
Where was I?
A Liberal government will run three modest deficits. Why? Because I desperately needed to find a point of political differentiation that wasn’t based entirely on weed. So now I’m pro-deficit. Politics: What a crazy business.
Sure, I criticized Harper’s deficits for years. In fact, I continue to criticize them now. Believe me—I don’t understand why either! All I know is that, as of late last month, everyone has always known we can’t cut our way to a stronger economy.
It’s time to invest in Canada. We will therefore create the single largest infrastructure investment plan in our country’s history. We will build hospitals. We will build schools. We will build hospitals on top of schools. We will build a lovely memorial on the roof of the hospital to the victims of that crushed school. No one could have foreseen that tragedy. What a blessing the hospital was so close by.
Real change! Arm gestures! Statement of belief that better is superior to not better!
To conclude: Our Liberal plan puts you at the centre of all our policies. Yes, you. Come, step into our policy circle. Let me look you in the eye.