No body language winner in economy debate, image expert says
The day after the major party leaders debated their views on the economy, an image expert said, based on how they composed themselves at the podium, there was no real winner.
Anne Sowden, an image and communications coach, said Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s body language during the debate in Calgary Thursday night was quite different than she’s seen in the past.
"He was standing, leaning against the podium while Mulcair and Trudeau were talking," Sowden said.
She noted Harper had his hand in his pocket and a smirk on his face while Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and the NDP’s Tom Mulcair were talking.
"It’s almost like he’s saying, 'I'm just going to stand back and let these two guys get on with it – it's completely different from what I've seen," Sowden said, recalling her analysis of the first major party leaders debate Aug.6.
Trudeau also presented himself differently this time around, Sowden noted.
"I don’t think he was at all comfortable last night—I thought he was frazzled," she said. "He was gripping the podium at one point."
Sowden also commented on the back-and-forth yelling between the leaders – a move she said is never effective.
“It’s like being in a schoolyard,” Sowden said. “There’s no point to it.”
Mulcair and Trudeau spent much of the debate attacking Harper’s economic record, which shouldn’t have been a surprise considering the debate focused on the economy, said Sowden.
“That’s what Stephen Harper has based his platform on is,” she said. “And we knew that Mulcair and Trudeau were going to go after him.”
At campaign event in Regina on Friday, Mulcair was asked by reporters why his body language seemed to indicate that he was respectful of Harper and impatient with Trudeau.
But the NDP leader avoided weighing in.
"I enjoyed last night’s debate for one good and simple reason: It allowed us to contrast the solid, long-term plan that the NDP has for the country, with Justin Trudeau’s short-sighted approach and frankly, Mr. Harper’s failed plan," said Mulcair.
"That’s what Canadians have to observe, all the rest of it I’m going to have to leave to you," he added.