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The Globe and Mail

English debate liveblog: Layton, Ignatieff on the attack as Harper keeps his cool

Prime Minister Stephen Harper answers a question during the English language federal election debate in Ottawa Ont., on Tuesday, April 12, 2011.

Chris Wattie/The Canadian Press/Chris Wattie/The Canadian Press

The stakes were high in the English-language debate between the four main party leaders contesting the May 2 federal election. The Globe and Mail covered all angles in the liveblog below.

Here are some highlights from Friday's debate coverage:

Jane Taber: Ignatieff - you can't lead if you don't allow other voices to flourish, he tells Harper

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Jane Taber: Harper won't look at Ignatieff when he addresses him

Patrick Brethour: Jack Layton puzzled:

Patrick Brethour: "What happened to Canada?"

And later in the debate:

Campbell Clark: Mr. Harper. "If you don't get the most seats, you don't get to form the government." Actually, that's not the rule, and Liberal PM Mackenzie King did form a government with fewer seats -- although not for long. The Constitutional rule, actually, is that the incumbent PM gets the first crack to form a government in a minority Parliament. But the Governor-general can turn to another MP who can hold the confidence of the House of Commons.

Patrick Brethour: Campbell: You're exactly right on the rules. But the seat count is going to matter -- if the Liberals lose ground, it's going to be very difficult to sell the idea of a runner-up government.

Jane Taber: Layton accuses Ignatieff of having the worst attendance record- you missed 70 per cent of the votes

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Campbell Clark: Jack Layton asks why Michael Ignatieff has the worst attendance record in the House of Commons. That, if you are wondering, is true: He missed the most votes.



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