For this election, the debates have been a disappointment. Both at a local and national level.
By Craig Allan, Business Manager
Why are there two French-language debates but only one English language debate? Yes, both languages are official in Canada, but English is clearly the more widely spoken language of the two in Canada.
When it comes to any election, one of the highlights is the debates. It’s the first opportunity for the people to see what the candidates have to offer, and how they will rebuke what the other candidates are saying right to their faces. However, in this election, it feels like the debates have been a dud. No challenging another leaders’ points, no firm stating of issues, just filibustering until a leader’s time runs out and they have to move on.
I’ll start with the local election coverage. I have been very interested in the election coverage going on this year, but the debate, or as it is stated in a Tri-City News article, the “Forum” was a real disappointment. It wasn’t really a debate as much as it was the candidates simply stating their platforms in the same room together. That’s just not interesting. Where is the back and forth? Where are the candidates challenging their opponents’ platforms and their parties’ ideas? They could have done this in different locations and there would have been no differences.
There was also another debate set to happen surrounding the topic of climate change, but according to the article I mentioned, the debate which was to consist of candidates from both Port Moody – Coquitlam, and Coquitlam – Port Coquitlam, was cancelled due to both Liberal candidates in the ridings dropping out. The press release says it was due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Considering both of the dropouts were Liberal candidates, and that the Tri-City News says that the debate was cancelled due to a “lack of participation from the candidates,” it really feels like the candidates just don’t want to have a meaningful discussion about the future of the country.
As for the federal debates, they too were underwhelming. For one, why are there two French-language debates but only one English-language debate? Yes, both languages are official in Canada, but English is clearly the more widely spoken language of the two in Canada. The first French-language debate was conducted on a French station TVA, and seemed to be a debate run by a private television company; if they can do that, why couldn’t CTV or Global get an exclusive English language debate?
As for the single English language debate, it was dull. The leaders did not seem to want to answer questions. They diverted every question and just seemed to blabber on until their time ran out. Where is the fight? Where is the passion? We entered this election because Trudeau said in the debate that we have a lot of issues that Canada should have a say on, but how is the population supposed to care when it feels like even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau does not seem to much care?
Maybe it’s the fact that this election feels like a power grab by the Liberals, or that we are all just too busy and preoccupied with trying to get back to normal during this pandemic, but the whole 2021 election campaign just feels like an ever-deflating balloon. The only part of this election that I have unequivocally enjoyed has been the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) coverage of the election. Their in-depth look at specific ridings and the issues and concerns of that region has been some of the most interesting and enlightening coverage of this election. I’ve learned more from watching their episodes on ridings like the Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge, and Calgary – Skyview than I have from any other source in this election. I keep going back to the YouTube page, eagerly anticipating what new riding will appear. The people in these videos seem passionate about this election, the question is, when will the federal leaders?