Set the following criteria. Leaders whose parties get at least 15 per cent of the popular vote and/or whose parties have 50 seats (roughly 15 per cent) in the House of Commons can participate in the nationally televised debate in English in the main network.
Then, let there be one-hour interviews, or something of this sort, with the leaders of the other parties on prime-time programs on the specialty channels.
The same criteria could be used in French. Leaders whose parties commanded 15 per cent of the vote (in Quebec) can participate in debates on the main channels; interviews would be reserved for the others.
Of course, some people who support marginal parties will scream, claiming equality, equality, equality. But what's fair about allowing a party with no seats, or 10 per cent of the popular vote, to receive the same exposure to viewers/voters as parties with more than 100 seats, or 150 seats, and almost 40 per cent of the vote?
The networks control the format. The ones they have tried in recent elections haven't worked. It's time to try something trimmed down that lets the major parties with demonstrated significant support get a fairer shot at being heard.
Hello Simpson, they already have a fairer shot at being heard, given the media already never reports on any other parties and their actions.