Thursday, March 31, 2011

Broadcasters rule out one-on-one debate between Harper and Ignatieff, confirm May’s exclusion

Canada’s broadcasters have ruled out a face-off between Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff and will exclude the Green Party from the upcoming official election debates, the Globe and Mail reports. The decision to carry debates involving only the leaders of the four main parties in Parliament follows a public battle between the Conservative and Liberal leaders, but also controversial backroom dealings between the country’s major television stations and four biggest political parties. According to the Globe and Mail, after hours of private and public discussions on Wednesday, the consortium of broadcasters announced an agreement by issuing an ultimatum to the representatives of the four parties, a source involved in the discussions said.In a bid to embrace some form of change, the English- and French-language debates on April 12 and 14, respectively, will feature one-on-one exchanges between the leaders of the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, the Bloc Québécois and the NDP.

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