The second half of the debate was based on David Walmsley asking leaders questions, an interchange between Walmsley and the leader followed by an open floor. Questions were similar to the first half, concentrating on the economy, fiscal policies, and investments but had questions targeted at each leader’s platform and included a primary exchange with Walmsley before going to open floor. Arguments from all leaders were similar to the first half.
Throughout the debate leaders’ interrupted each other to speak their mind and attack. Leaders were more calm in their exchange during the open floor when defending their platforms while attacking their opponents. Harper was constantly forced to defend his history. Though both Mulcair and Trudeau used the economy to bring in other flaws in Harper’s plan. Harper used economic questions to defend his current economic choices, comparing Canada’s economy and recovery from the recession with other world economies.
All attacked past governments. Despite attacking both past Conservatives and Liberal governments, Mulcair focused on past Liberals. Trudeau attacked past Conservatives. Harper used the least attacks on the past, but attacked the present Liberal economic plan, specifically deficits, and used his time to defend himself and speaking how it would take Canada into a prosperous future.
Mulcair spoke of simple traditional plans – balancing budgets and focused on the NDP national affordable childcare plan. To do this he defended long-term investment. He also attacked Trudeau’s deficits and investment plans as well as Harper’s current plans and current economic situation.
Trudeau spoke of unconventional creative ideas such as the infrastructure bank, and investment in rental homes. Together with campaigning upon realistic budgets with deficits rather than a surplus he spoke of immediate short-term investment for long-term economic growth. He also spoke most about cooperation with provinces and municipalities. During the debate Trudeau said that the only time Harper had not spoke of deficits is “during election years”. Contrary the Liberals are promising a balanced budget in 2019, the next election year unless there is a minority government.
Harper concentrated on defending his past and taking Canada into the future based on the plan the Conservatives have in place today, using the global situation as the basis of Canada’s current economic difficulties. He also attacked the current NDP’s and Liberal’s plan, most often tax increases.