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What leadership is about: the defining moment

Posted on April 13, 2011

What we saw last night

It came at the 42-minute mark — and it lasted less than a minute. But it will be remembered as a defining moment of this debate.

In that memorable exchange, Michael Ignatieff called Stephen Harper onto the carpet for suggesting he deserved a majority.

“A majority? … Majorities are things you earn. When you earn the trust of the Canadian people and you haven’t earned the trust of the Canadian people because you don’t trust the Canadian people,” the Liberal leader said

“That’s not strong leadership. That’s weak leadership. What are you afraid of?”

They say debates are won or lost twice. First, before the television audience watching on debate night. And again, in the days that follow, as media, friends and family who watched the event share their impressions.

There is no question Michael Ignatieff won this debate. But I need your help to spread the word to make sure we win again as the echo of what transpired tonight ripples out across Canada.

That’s why I’m asking you to share this video of Michael Ignatieff’s decisive blow against Stephen Harper in last night’s debate.

But that’s just part of how you can help as we enter this important next phase of the campaign.

The debate established a stark contrast between Stephen Harper’s politics of division, and Michael Ignatieff’s progressive, responsible vision for Canada.

As you share your impressions with family, friends and colleagues, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • We are in this election because of Stephen Harper’s disrespect for our democracy, his culture of secrecy and deceit. This is the first government in Canadian history to be found in contempt of Parliament.
  • Stephen Harper is making the wrong economic choices: $30 billion on fighter jets, $13 billion on US-style mega-prisons, $6 billion a year on tax cuts for the largest corporations, $1 billion wasted on the G8/G20 Summit.
  • The Liberal Party will put families first with our Family Pack: help with college and university tuition, early childhood learning and care, public pensions you can count on, help when a loved one gets sick and support to make your home more energy-efficient.
  • Stephen Harper has an unexplained $11-billion hole in his platform and with his wasteful spending and misguided priorities he will not have enough money to support our health care system in the years ahead. Only the Liberal Party can be counted on to defend our high-quality, universally accessible health care system.

Politics is a test of human character. It is the measure of women and men who aim to live up to the ideals of the people they will represent.

Last night you saw the next Liberal Prime Minister of Canada come into his own before the Canadian people.

Let’s make sure as many Canadians as possible see Michael Ignatieff the way we did last night.

Please share the video of this key exchange — and spread the Liberal message in your local communities.

Thank you.

Peter Donolo