Saturday, September 19, 2015

Federal leaders debates, campaign tours outliving their usefulness: Delacourt

The Star's Susan Delacourt writes:
"We are seeing the looming extinction of two political species in this federal election — leaders tours and leaders debates.
"Both were created for another time, and neither is serving a particularly useful role in helping make citizens make an informed choice a month from now at the ballot box.
"Start with Thursday night’s debate, which was hosted by the Globe and Mail in Calgary and moderated by the paper’s editor-in-chief, David Walmsley.
"In sheer visual terms, the event cast politics as a private insiders club. Leaders stood behind podiums against a Gothic, violet-hued photo backdrop of the Parliament buildings (which raises the question about why one would need to go all the way to Calgary to create a big purple Ottawa on a stage). "The three leaders shouted over each other’s remarks and punctuated their talking points with personal shots at their opponents.
"The best that can be said about this exercise is that it was good training for the empty theatre of question period, which is also well past its best-before date in format and democratic utility."
 The full column
(We are not sure she is right. Let TV people stage the debates with TV journalists as moderators. The Globe and Mail debate was amateurish. Steve Paikin of TVO would have handled it much better.)

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