Federal Liberal Party leadership candidate Martin Cauchon, right, makes a point as Justin Trudeau looks on during a leadership debate in Vancouver, January 20, 2013. This is the first of five debates to be held across the country. (REUTERS/Andy Clark)
VANCOUVER - A crowded Liberal Party of Canada leadership field stepped on stage together for the first time on Sunday, but what was billed as a debate amongst candidates came out much more like a nine-way attack on Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The candidates took very few shots at each other during the two-hour debate at the Bayshore Westin in Vancouver, instead saving their shots for the Conservatives.
"One of the problems with Harper's record is he is fake economist," Toronto tech lawyer George Takach said. "The Liberal party will do a much better job and they need experienced leadership that knows how to get these things done."
The format of the debate did not lend itself to deep policy discussion, with many candidates being cut off multiple times after exceeding their allotted time.
The one noted scrimmage took place over the issues of electoral reform.