Analysis | A calmer debate | Elections Quebec 2022

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Analysis | more serene debate | Élections Quebec 2022

François Legault pulled himself together while the Liberal leader showed the “real Dominique”.< /p>

Francois Legault and Dominique Anglade, on the set of the leaders' debate.

François Legault had announced his colors well in advance and he stuck to his game plan. On almost all themes, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois was his main target. He criticized him for wanting to tax family vans, for wanting the decline of certain industries and for wanting to deprive himself of the contribution of private surgery clinics out of simple ideology.

The strategy was each time the same: to raise doubts about the consequences that the implementation of the proposals of Quebec solidaire would have for ordinary citizens. Faced with so many criticisms, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois accused his CAQ counterpart of misinforming and leading a campaign of fear.

Without being disconcerted, the co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire sometimes had difficulty answering, on the merits, questions from François Legault. After having shone during the first debate, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois seemed more retiring, less combative during this second confrontation.

Dominique Anglade, on the contrary, offered a much better performance than last week. The liberal leader was less scripted, more natural. The format of the debate also allowed him to better present his ideas.

The only woman on the set, she attacked François Legault's record on childcare services. The lack of places, she argued, has consequences for families, and especially for young mothers. The attack paid off and the Liberal leader will no doubt want to do some mileage with this vein.

Faithful to what he had been during the first debate, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon once again distinguished himself by his calm and composed tone. Relentless on the language issue, he highlighted François Legault's inability to make gains with the federal government, even going so far as to compare his opponent to Jean Charest and Philippe Couillard. Claiming that independence would solve the problems of the Quebec health system was, however, a bit of a coffee.

Paul St-Pierre Plamondon (center) once again distinguished himself with his calm and poised tone.

On the theme of the pandemic, François Legault repeated the blow of the last debate to Éric Duhaime. Calling his vis-à-vis an agitator, the head of the CAQ placed him on the defensive by asking him how many seniors he would have been willing to sacrifice in order to alleviate health constraints.

Éric Duhaime, for his part, was incisive on the question of the third link. He effectively underlined the many changes of course of the head of the CAQ on reducing the size of the state, or even on the GNL Quebec project.

The Conservative leader was also able to take advantage of a question on the place of private health to assert its difference. Less energetic than last Thursday, it is however not clear that the Conservative leader has managed to score points beyond the circle of his supporters.

After having had a bad evening last week, François Legault seemed more smiling and more serene during this second confrontation. He was also able to better outline his plan to help Quebecers deal with inflation.

Constantly targeting Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, however, one can wonder if the head of the CAQ has not sometimes done too much, his insistence sometimes taking on the air of negativity. His attempt to interrupt Dominique Anglade was also poorly received by all of his opponents.

If his mixed performance in the first debate did not really shake his lead in the polls , her most recent performance could help her consolidate her support.

As for Dominique Anglade, we can wonder if she hasn't taken too long to introduce us to the real Dominique , if there is still time for her to save the Liberal campaign.

In general, the format of the debate will have enabled all the leaders to put forward their ideas, to better explain their proposals. There may not have been a big winner or big loser, but citizens who hadn't paid much attention to the campaign so far have been well served.

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