Trudeau cuts into Scheer speech, breaking tradition
It’s part of the campaign playbook to see party leaders talk over each other at debates, but it’s an unwritten convention for an election winner to let those who have lost address their supporters first.
But after 1 a.m on Tuesday, after winning a minority government, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau started his victory speech in Montreal just moments after Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer began to deliver his concession speech in Regina.
For his part, Scheer also skipped protocol by beginning his speech before NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh finished his in Burnaby, B.C.
At one point, all three men were speaking at the same time.
“From coast to coast to coast tonight Canadians rejected division and negativity,” Trudeau began. After thanking his family, campaign team, and voters who voted Liberal nationally and who re-elected him in Papineau, he said:
“And to those and to those who did not vote for us, know that we will work every single day for you. We will govern for everyone. Regardless of how you cast your ballot, ours is a team that will fight for all Canadians.”
Scheer began by thanking the voters in his Saskatchewan riding who re-elected him and all Conservative candidates and supporters.
“Our party is strong, we are united and we are on the march, ladies and gentlemen.”
He went on to say the Conservatives had won the popular vote and Liberals had lost support in almost all provinces.
“Mr. Trudeau, when your government falls, Conservatives will be ready and we will win.”
The reaction to Trudeau’s early speech was immediate.
“@JustinTrudeau showed no class,” tweeted Nathan Cullen, a veteran NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, B.C. who did not run in this election. “After a minute of Scheer doing his concession speech he went on stage effectively cutting him off. I’m sorry but everyone makes sacrifices in running and class is showing your opponents the opportunity to concede.”
Others were able to manage some Canadian-flavoured humour.
“Three leaders speaking at the same time after #elxn43,” tweeted Toronto Star journalist Susan Delacourt. “This minority parliament thing co-ordination is off to a great start, eh?”
The incident raised memories of then newly-elected Ontario Premier Doug Ford jumping up to the podium to speak shortly after securing a majority for his PC party before defeated Liberal incumbent Kathleen Wynne had a chance to concede defeat.
His campaign later said that it was a mix-up and not an intentional slight.
Lori Williams, a political science professor at Mount Royal University, says given that all the major parties suffered some sort of setback or missed expectations in Monday’s vote, “to hear them last night it didn’t sound like they had taken seriously the lesson that voters handed them.”
She told CTV News Channel that Trudeau’s victory speech lacked humility even though the ballot results “were a real repudiation of many of the things he said and did during this campaign.”
Navigating a minority government means compromising and working together but Williams says that message did not come across from either Trudeau or Scheer.
“I think both of them rely too much on a narrowing base… They’ve got to reach across divisions, they’ve got to appeal to a broader range of Canadians or they’re not going to be able to effectively lead,” she said Tuesday.
Williams says the only leader who delivered a speech recognizing the need for compromise was Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet.
“He’s not crowing about victory or celebrating, he’s saying, ‘Look, we’ve got work to do. We’ve got to represent the interests of Quebecers.”
@JustinTrudeau showed no class. After a minute of Scheer doing his concession speech he went on stage effectively cutting him off. I’m sorry but everyone makes sacrifices in running and class is showing your opponents the opportunity to concede. #elxn43 #canadavotes2019 pic.twitter.com/TpnaqoNeN0— Nathan Cullen (@nathancullen) October 22, 2019
Can someone explain the reasoning behind the PM's decision to trump Scheer's speech? I get that the CPC campaign against Trudeau has been ugly and vicious. But it struck me as a d*** move to deny 6M voters an opportunity to hear from the leader they supported. #elxn43 #cdnpoli— Josh Greenberg (@josh_greenberg) October 22, 2019