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Giuliano Caccese

A review of the first Montreal mayoral debate

Most voters don't care about debates. The vast majority of individuals could not care less about what was said on Sunday night by Marcel Côté, Richard Bergeron or Denis Coderre. To political aficionados like myself, debates provide the opportunity in providing that “knock-out punch,” comparing and contrasting your opponents ideas, political jabs, insults, strengths, weaknesses and ultimately… a leader for Montreal’s inhabitants. The debate was formatted into four main topics, each consisting of fifteen minute segments: Ethics (leadership, corruption), Quality of Life (Taxes, Infrastructure, Exodus to the suburbs), Anglophones, Vision (for the future of Montreal). The candidates in their opening statements revealed parts of the big pictures of their platforms. From the get-go, the usual label of “guilty by association” was pronounced fiercely by Bergeron against Coderre for having a large number of ex-Union Montreal candidates, the party of former mayor Gérald Tremblay. But Coderre jabbed back at Bergeron saying he wanted a selected number of those members because they are very good at their jobs and have the confidence of Mr. Coderre; they would get the job done. We saw the beginning of certain styles and themes that each candidate would run on. For Bergeron, he is the man of big ideas and most importantly, transparency. He is a man of the public, takes public transit and is proud that he does not drive (Coderre even labelled him “Anti-Car” on a few occasions). Coderre would use his experience as a Liberal MP occupying ministerial positions, esteemed among his peers as the one who can provide the leadership and knows what to do. Côté came about as both a man of experience in the private and public sector (almost forty years’ worth), who has worked with politicians like Coderre and knows how to manage, balance books, and make things work… Read More