This Guide To The Leaders’ Debate Also Happens To Be A Drinking Game

Tonight, the federal party leaders will take the stage for the first and only English-language debate featuring all six candidates. With just two weeks to election day and the Conservatives and the Liberals running neck and neck, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Which means we can expect a mature and civilized discourse on the issues that matter to Canadian voters.
Oh, who are we kidding? It’s going to be 120 minutes of uninterrupted mud-slinging and misdirection, where pageantry trumps policy and the word hypocrite is thrown around like a radioactive hot potato. Still planning to tune in? Pick your poison (sips, tokes, righteous sighs of indignation) and play along. (Ed. note: Please drink responsibly and pace yourself: We still have two weeks until the election.)

Every time Justin Trudeau references Doug Ford

Flicking at the premier of Ontario — his record, his social conservatism, his overall shadiness — has been one of the Liberals’ most frequent strategies, most likely because they need a bogeyman to scare potential NDP-leaning progressives into voting Red and Andrew Scheer isn’t well-known enough.

Every time NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh references regular folk

…a single mom in Charlottetown, a disheartened factory worker in Fredericton. Pushing his man-of-the-people status was Singh’s standout move at the last English-language debate.

Every time Andrew Scheer references Justin Trudeau

The PC leader’s superpower may be the ability to pivot from questions about…well…anything to a condemnation of Trudeau’s record. Take two swigs if/when he welcomes JT (who skipped the first English-speaking debate) with a “nice of you to show up this time” zinger. Three if he asks which airplane he came on.

Every time Elizabeth May makes an appeal to millennial voters

After the massive turnout at the climate marches, the leader of Canada’s only dedicated enviro party has a lot of momentum.

Every time one of the candidates brings up Trudeau’s two airplanes, May’s Photoshop drama or Scheer’s American citizenship.

Man, there have been a lot of scandals since the last debate.

Every time Singh plays the integrity card

See above.

Every time you wonder whether Scheer lying about being an insurance broker is the most boring political scandal since the dawn of time.

Couldn’t he have lied about being an astronaut?

Every time Trudeau says um

Apparently that’s, um, a thing.

Every time Trudeau uses the word “values”

Nailing Scheer on his personal stances on reproductive rights and LGBTQIA+ issues was a key part of the Liberals’ French debate strategy. Take two swigs if he references Scheer’s no-show at Pride parades or at last month’s climate-strike march.

Every time you wonder why “women’s issues” haven’t been a debate topic since 1984

Because it’s 2019. EYE ROLL.

Every time Scheer does that slightly exasperated but patient nod to imply he’s the only adult in the room

Even though…wait for it…he’s younger than Trudeau.

Every time Scheer comes off looking moderate thanks to Maxime Bernier

Having the PCP leader on stage could be an advantage for the Conservatives.

Every time you wish Bernier was being represented by an empty podium.

See above.

Every time you wonder who that other guy is.

Guys, it’s Yves-François Blanchet, leader of the Bloc Québécois.
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