The election campaign is starting around the clubhouse turn, heading for the tape.
Mulcair is getting bogged down by trying to out-Con the Harper Cons -- to the despair of NDP supporters.
And Harper has spent way too much time in his prettified, stage-managed photo ops. The Harper Cons have drifted into a state of such boring irrelevancy that even the Aussie wunderkind will be unable to get their voters out.
I think it is Justin Trudeau who is beginning to break away. His ideas are the ones that are getting talked about -- Trudeau emerges as leader with new economic vision for Canada - The Globe and Mail -- and his bold infrastructure plan is supported by Canadians.
Here are some Trudeau lines from the debate:
Trudeau to Mulcair "Mr. Mulcair, who's talking about child care, the fact is that a young family with a two-year-old doesn't need child care eight years from now when their kid is in Grade 5. They need it right away, but Mr. Mulcair is not making a choice that's going to allow to invest in his promises. They're puffs of smoke."
Trudeau to Harper on the need for public transit: “What Canadians can’t afford is to continue to be stuck in traffic every morning because there’s no reliable transit because the federal government hasn’t stepped up as a partner. You’ve been stuck in a motorcade for the past 10 years.”
Trudeau on refugees: People cross oceans to come to Canada, only to have Harper take away their health care, Trudeau said, and security concerns should not be an excuse to close Canada's doors.
"Mr. Harper plays (to) fears all the time," Trudeau replied.
"Fears of others, fears of different communities. We have a prime minister who prefers to pander to fears. That's not right, sir."
Trudeau continued the attack while speaking to reporters following the debate, taking issue with Harper who differentiated between "new, existing and old-stock Canadians."
"The fact that he referred to something called old-stock Canadians demonstrates that yet again, he is choosing to divide Canadians against another," Trudeau said. "(He's) undermining new Canadians' legitimacy. For the Liberal party, for me a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian and it will always stay that way."