Marcel Danesi, U of T pop culture semiotician
The word that perhaps summarizes Wynne’s bodily persona is “reassuring.” Her hand gestures are constantly reaching out to her audiences, as if she is giving or passing something on to them. This conveys sympathy for others. Unlike Hudak, her body does not convey strength; rather, it communicates empathy, understanding, and compassion.
Hudak presents a solid image of himself, as a sober, controlled, rational person. He is nice looking and exudes confidence. His shoulders, which he arches at the right moments, convey strength and determination. He looks right at his audience and never shies away from it. Like a friend or acquaintance, one feels that he can be trusted. He is a conservative and looks the part to perfection.
Horwath is probably the most persuasive speaker of all the candidates. But when she speaks, she overcompensates by trying to tone down her body from getting excited about her ideas. This leaves us wanting her to “burst out” rather than “hold back.” She seems to be overly conscious of her appearance and thus keeps her body posture still (almost stiff).
Schreiner has the most active body of all the candidates. Through his constantly tilting posture he shows impatience at the way things are and the desire to change them quickly. He pumps his fist as in a rally gesture. This might attract young voters, but it becomes enervating if you are trying to figure out what he is truly saying.