Series of debates merits discussion

The issue of debates has become a political talking point, sparked by discussion about the exclusion of Green leader Elizabeth May from the televised leaders’ debates.

The decision to exclude May was made by the ”Broadcast Consortium,” a shadowy group of television executives who seem unlikely to qualify as the best guardians of democracy. In 2008, they also decided to exclude May and only allowed her in after sustained public pressure. The same thing may happen again.

However, some positive ideas have come out of this latest discussion. Both Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff have expressed interest in a one-on-one debate — and that would be a debate worth watching.

The five-person debate in 2008 wasn’t worthwhile. It was mainly an exercise in interruption, shouting and finger-pointing, with few real opportunities to find out where leaders stood on issues. By contrast, debates in the U.S. between presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama, were substantive, respectful and enlightening to voters.

The fact is, only Harper and Ignatieff have a chance to form government and be prime minister.

Jack Layton will be, at best, a junior partner in a coalition government — and that seems unlikely, given that Ignatieff has said he won’t form a coalition.

Gilles Duceppe is nothing other than a major-league irritant. His party isn’t interested in any part of Canada outside Quebec and he does not deserve to be in the English-language leaders’ debates.

May leads a party that attracts significant, but shallow, interest. It gained less than seven per cent of the national vote in 2008 and will never hold any meaningful number of seats unless our electoral system changes.

There should be at least one debate featuring only Harper and Ignatieff. Additional debates featuring the five leaders (in French), with Duceppe excluded from the all-party English debate, would give voters enough chance to check them all out.

— Langley Times

 

Just Posted

Sentencing turns to trial, as guilty plea struck

Kevin Simons denied having possession of a knife during a break-and-enter last August

Greyhound announces rural fund plan

Greyhound is lobbying the B.C. government to subsidize rural bus routes

Attempted murder charge up in the air after victim’s death

Without Thomas Szajko’s testimony, alleged shooter Afshin Ighani could get off on that charge

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Update: Dog inside stolen vehicle in Oliver reunited with owner

A black Honda CRV was stolen from the Oliver Chevron early Sunday morning

AlleyCats ally with Penticton artist

Artist Terry Isaac gave up some space in his shop at Cherry Lane to help out the AlleyCats Alliance

B.C. overdose deaths surpass 1,200

96 people died of illicit drug overdoses in October

A classic Christmas play with a Kelowna twist

Scrooge is transported to Kelowna in New Vintage Theatre’s new holiday play, opening Wednesday

Crown appeals stay against Jamie Bacon in Surrey Six killings

B.C.’s prosecution service says judge’s decision reveals ‘errors of law’

Feds agree to give provinces 75 per cent of pot tax revenues

Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the agreement today

Red Scorpion associates cuffed in drug-trafficking bust

Kamloops RCMP lay charges in connection to Red Scorpion drug trafficking ring

Merry lottery win for Shuswap man

Five-dollar scratch ticket a $100,000 winner for Sicamous resident

Woman sought in Kamloops stabbing

Kamloops RCMP are looking for the woman they believed stabbed a man on Sunday

Emergency response ‘well executed’ in B.C. carbon monoxide poisoning

Emergency Health Services talks about how first responders dealt with this ‘mass casualty event’

Most Read