Leaders Debates Sep 8 & 9 21

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Ken Burch

During the post-debate scrum, Blanchet got into an interesting exchange with a woman francophone journalist.  He'd seemed bitter and stilted for most of the debate, but seemed to be swapping jokes and banter with this person as though they were old friends getting together over drinks.  Does anybody here know who that reporter was, or how far she and Blanchet go back?  It was like he was an entirely different person when he was engaging with this person.


No. But since when aren't the politicians and msm journos chummy, incestuous or worse? Our 'democratic' machinery is like the famous quote by Bismark on empires as sausages. 'One should not inquire too closely what goes into them or how they are made.'

Ken Burch

NDPP wrote:

No. But since when aren't the politicians and msm journos chummy, incestuous or worse? Our 'democratic' machinery is like the famous quote by Bismark on empires as sausages. 'One should not inquire too closely what goes into them or how they are made.'

It was more a question about interpersonal dynamics than anything else- I don't disagree with your characterization of the overall politician/mainstream journalist relationship, just wondering if anybody knew the back story there.

Two things can be true at the same time here:

1) The relationship between media and politicians  can be just as corrupt as you state there;

2) It's natural to wonder why a party leader would have an entirely different reaction with one corporate journo than that leader would have with any of the rest.


When all is said and done, I suppose the big debates winner is Blanchet. Who knew!


Ken Burch wrote:

pietro_bcc wrote:


Hard to see an incumbent PM agrreing to this many debates, in that the inevitable fate of a PM in a TV debate is mainly to ward off attacks form all quarters

The main issue with the English debate is that there is only 1 of them, not the format. Because there is only 1 debate they have to pack in more topics into a 2 hour span than they are realistically able to in an effective manner. If you had more than one debate, you would be able to spread out the topics across multiple debates and then instead of only have a laughable 45 seconds to answer a question they could have 3-4 minutes.

They should disband the consortium and have 1 debate per OTA national TV station. There are 4 english stations (CBC, CTV, Global and City) so 4 debates and have that as a manditory condition of their broadcast license.

I liked the moderating, they were tough on all the leaders and didn't let them use the 2 hours as a vehicle for their talking points, they asked questions that were framed in a way that opposed each party's talking points to throw them off their game and explain themselves. They were genuinely challenging questions. Also they didn't allow the leaders to go off on non sequiturs regarding issues that are in no way related to the question at hand, which I loved. I hate when they go off topic.

As for the debate I think O'Toole clearly won (not in the sense that I agree with him, but in the sense that this debate will help his polling numbers the most.) He looked prime ministerial, while Trudeau looked arrogant and entitled constantly interupting the moderators when each segment ended and trying to pack in his inane talking points which the moderators were having none of, he looked like a baby.

Blanchet was a mess, but it'll probably go to his benefit because in the french media this is playing out as "the english debate moderator was Quebec bashing". This will probably help him.

Paul and Singh did okay, they got their points out effectively but I don't think their performances will move the needle one way or another.

There should be a series of regional debates in what used to be called "The Rest of Canada"

1) An Atlantic Canada debate- topics could include fisheries, extractive resource issues, the provincial revenue-sharing formula, and the legacy of ethnic cleansing-both of the Acadians, Indigenous Canadians, and Afro-Canadian communities in the region.

2) An Ontario debate- in English AND French, with moderators from all the ethnic communities there.

3) A Praries debate- including Alberta- focused on environmental issues and the leaders' views on the idea of the Green New Deal, and the role of religion in politics.

4) A B.C. debate- focusing on the immigrants and immigration, Indigenous issues, pipelines, again on the Green New Deal(mainly to see how the answers the leaders gave on that would vary on that compared to what they'd been in the Prarie/Alberta debate.

Hard to see an incumbent PM agreeing to that many debates, in that the inevitable fate of a PM in a TV debate is mainly to ward off attacks from all quarters. That is especially true for a Liberal PM, given that the Liberals compete head-to-head against both the NDP and CPC, who therefore rarely attack one another.  Perhaps the emergence of the Greens and (ugh) PPC would change that somewhat, in that the other parties would also have openings on more than one front, but I still don't see a five debate campaign anytime soon.

I would also say that while I suppose that your topic choices by region are intended to be somewhat flexible - as written they are a bit presumptuous and tend to stereoptype the regions.  I think you need to pick a lane: either let the local journalists/moderators determine the topics of interest in those regions - or instead have them conducted thematically on the big issues, and not regionally-based.

Lastly, I should add that you have nothing at all on the economy other than environmental imperatives and nothing on international issues, which in this fraught era of China-Canada relations, the Middle East situation and Afghanistan collapse would seem to be a bit limiting.


On foreign policy all that would be pretty much necessary for candidates to truthfully say is 'whatever Washington instructs.'


No wonder, how low has it dropped to now, the percentage of people who don't vote?

The whole debate process is like a Barnum and Bailey Circus!

Quebec with 24% of the population gets 67% of the debates in French, and spends the rest of their time whining about what happened in the only English debate.

And let's move into the 21st century, bite the bullet, and have bilingual debates.

Also let's keep the media, pollsters, etc., those with vested interests, as far away as possible from running the show.

Our Universities and Trade Schools have lots of capable people available to be moderators. We need to have indepth discussions and get away from the sound bites.

I also suggest we have one on one debates with a maximum of 2 candidates, but these debates need to be ongoing throughout the 4 years, so that each leader would get an opportunity to debate one on one with every other leader.

It would soon weed out the duds, and it's absurd to have parties with little or almost no representation given equal billing with the major political party.


After watching tv political debates for almost half a century I can't think of even one that was informative. These tv debates are not like real debates where people have to support or oppose clear arguments. The object of these debates is to sell talking points and to trap your opponent in a "gotcha" moment knockout. Half-truths, stereotyping, and polite lying are actually helpful in these debates. I would say that tv political debates should be avoided since they obscure more than they inform. I think the best way to get information from politicsl leaders is to just comprehensively interview them. The best way the media can compare political platforms is to simply compare political platforms without being spun by politicians and political parties.


Trudeau least impressive amongst own supporters during debates