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Slipping polls, massages and minority government: Asking the tough question

Metro asked the men who have a shot at Canada’s top job to be accountable to Canadians. Here is what they had to say.

Metro asked the men who have a shot at Canada’s top job to be accountable to Canadians. Here is what they had to say.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff

You've said during the campaign that the Liberals represent the only option to beat the Conservatives, to stop them from having a majority. But your party has gone down in the polls. With the level you're at, how do you

expect voters to continue see the Liberals as that option, and not the NDP?

"Well, I just think on Monday, Canadians have got to choose a government. They've got to choose someone who's actually been in government, actually done this. The NDP has never formed a federal government in the history of Canada. We've got a choice between a Liberal platform that's costed and makes sense, with a Liberal team that has experience, versus basically more years of Harper, which is debt, deficit and mismanagement. I think these choices are becoming clear to Canadians. I don't think that people regard the NDP as a serious party of government."

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper

How do you feel when your supporters drown out questions from reporters at your rallies?

“I’ve taken every question every reporter has asked me in this campaign and, you know, I obviously don’t control the opinions of every single member of my party. I think that’s about all I can say on that.”

You said all of minority government scenarios would lead to another election. If one of the other parties win a minority government, would you then work with other opposition parties to immediately defeat that minority government?

“Well, as you know, I’m in this election to win this election. We’re confident in victory. The mandate we’re looking for from the Canadian people is a majority mandate, so we don’t get into all of those other scenarios.

All of those other scenarios -- the NDP desire to form a minority coalition, get the backing of the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois -- that is unstable, that simply leads us to another election.”

NDP Leader Jack Layton

This weekend the Toronto Sun’s story saying police found you in a bawdy house massage parlour, but laid no charges as they had no evidence of an offence, came as a shock. Can you speak to the allegations, and what impact will this story will have on what was looking to be a fantastic showing by your party?

“Well, I answered those questions in some detail (last week), so I’m not going through it again. You’ll find all of that available, you and your reporters. But, this is a kind of smear politics that a lot Canadians reject. No wonder it’s hard to get people involved in politics if this completely unfounded innuendo is going to characterize what goes on in politics.”

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