PLUM COULEE, MB
With the notable exception of Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, who said he really didn’t care to get the Mennonite vote, all major party leaders were present at the Plautdietsch language debate in Plum Coulee, Manitoba on Tuesday night.
“That grain elevator was packed with undecided Menno voters trying to pick the lesser evil among the candidates,” said Mennonite political pundit Hans Schmidt. “A good performance in the Plautdietsch debate can mean a huge surge in the polls.”
The debate got off to a slow start with Trudeau struggling to articulate his carbon tax in Plautdietsch, and Scheer fumbling to translate “insurance broker” into the local language.
“It was really disappointing. If you want to be a truly national leader,” said Schmidt, “you’re going to have to speak better Plautdietsch than that.”
While Andrew Scheer and Justin Trudeau struggled with very stilted and broken Plautdietsch, Elizabeth May and Jagmeet Singh, on the other hand, rattled off Plautdietsch one-liners like they’d been speaking the language their whole lives.
“Etj kaun doch nich heeta aus Fiea,” said Elizabeth May, which drew applause from the crowd.
“Daut ess je aulahaund!” said Jagmeet Singh in reply.
It soon became clear, however, that the two leaders were hiding Jack Thiessen’s dictionary below their lecterns, which Maxine Bernier claimed was against the rules, calling his opponents a pair of Schummlas.
“I’m not sure if anyone came out ahead,” said Schmidt. “What voters want is authenticity….or at least the promise of free cheese curds.”
While the debate seemed to be a success, cynics feared the leaders would probably say one thing in the Plautdietsch debate and a completely different thing in the upcoming English one.