For the first time, all major Canadian party leaders were present on stage together, in what is probably the most-watched television debate in this Bundestag election campaign ,
So much was at stake.
It was a crowded stage: the Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, the Conservative Andrew Scheer, Jagmeet Singh of the New Democratic Party (NDP), Green Party leader Elizabeth May, Maxime Bernier of the People's Party of Canada and ̵
Did one of them stand out from the crowd? Were there any achievements that were sharp enough to finally postpone the opinion polls, which have hardly changed since the election in mid-September? Which topics triggered fireworks?
Here are some key examples:
Slugfest, but no defeat
The Conservatives and the Liberals were in trouble during the entire election campaign to get some momentum before the Canadians participate in the elections on 21 October.
Both parties have to overcome this impasse – and the two front-runners often faced each other and occasionally talked themselves into incoherence.
Andrew Scheer attacked Mr. Trudeau right out of the gate and beat him as "a dodger" and "a cheat" who did not deserve to be reelected, and repeatedly chased him on two counts of his Achilles heel among the voters : the SNC-Lavalin affair and the blackface scandal.
At SNC-Lavalin, a federal ethics officer stated that the prime minister had wrongly tried to influence his former minister to prevent the construction company from being charged with corruption – a political crisis that Mr. Trudeau faced earlier this year rushed into the polls.
But the liberal leader's electorate seems to have recovered despite old pictures of him that appeared in black in September.
And given Trudeau's frequent attempts to unite the conservative federal leader with Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford, who has made unpopular budget cuts in the constituent province, Scheer said, "They seem strangely obsessed with provincial politics . " ,
Mr. Trudeau pledged to defend himself and turn his conservative political rival into his rhetorical punching bag, forcing him to defend his position on social issues such as abortion law.
Mr. Scheer is "personal for life," but has repeatedly said that in the event of election, his party does not propose or support laws that would regulate abortion.
The Liberal leader also defended his government balance sheet, including a strong economy, less poverty, and lower unemployment.
Singh challenges the progressive vote.
Canada's progressive voters have plenty of choice in the election campaign: Mr. Trudeau's Liberal, Singh's NDP, Ms. May's Greens and, in Quebec, Mr. Blanchet's bloc.
Mr. Trudeau hopes for a repeat of the 2015 general election, when these progressive voters gathered for their liberals and led them to victory.
Jagmeet Singh has worked hard to position himself as a sensible third option between Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Scheer.
He was often able to meddle in the discussion and communicate his point of view to the voters: that his party was "in it for the people, we are not in it for the rich" and some of the most memorable landings of the night.
After a heated debate between Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Scheer over their climate plans, he intervened: "You do not have to choose between Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny." were relatively low on Monday night.
Few English-speaking voters in Quebec would consider making a ballot for their party, which only leads candidates in that province.
The block leader focused primarily on issues of central importance to Quebecer, such as Bill 21, the controversial provincial secularism law banning senior officials from wearing religious symbols.
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Mr Blanchet will have another opportunity on Thursday to appeal to voters in a debate between French-speaking leaders.
Climate remains a hot topic
Climate change has become a major issue in these elections, and Mr Trudeau has come into conflict with other leaders over his administration's dealings.
Elizabeth May has reserved her sharpest attacks on climate issues, repeatedly calling Mr. Trudeau's climate goals a "commitment to failure."
It also appealed directly to voters to cast their votes for the Greens, so that in a minority situation they could retain the power of party leaders outside the forum
The Liberal leader repeatedly called his plan for climate change "reasonable and feasible" – a confrontation with other federal parties such as the Greens, which have more ambitious climate goals than the current commitments of the Liberals.
Since his first election in 2015, Mr Trudeau has always considered the possibility of finding a balance between the economy and the environment – and he must once again convince voters that a liberal government is capable of doing just that do.
But he has come under pressure to buy a $ 4.5 billion ($ 3.4 billion, $ 2.6 billion) crude oil pipeline last year – a move that will triple the capacity of the controversial project should.
"You've bought a pipeline – you can not be a climate leader," Ms May said to Mr. Trudeau on Monday evening.
"I accepted the fact that I was being attacked because I did not build some pipelines and because I built pipelines from others," he replied.
Wildcard Bernier gets a hearing
The chairman of the Canadian People's Party, Maxime Bernier, was late in the debate. For low-single-digit national votes, it was initially ruled out before the National Discussion Committee reversed its ruling.
He made the most of his time on stage and often interrupted the other leaders.
Mr. Bernier has been a controversial political leader, among others with Twitter riots against the "diversity cult" and the young climate activist Greta Thunberg.
He also tries to limit the number of immigrants to Canada – for which he was attacked from all sides during the debates.
The chairman of the newly formed right-wing federal party also advocated balancing the Canadian budget.
His involvement in the debate was criticized by Mr. Singh, who told him that he "deserves no platform".
"It's not because I have a different view that I should not be there," Bernier later told journalists.