Saturday, December 17, 2005

Harris locked out, Duceppe out of place

It wasn't until Gilles Duceppe was asked to outline his party's position on Western Alienation that the sheer senselessness of the debate format hit me. Why was Gilles Duceppe answering questions from voters outside of Quebec? Also, why was Jim Harris not permitted to answer their questions? Voters in the other twelve jurisdictions of Canada cannot vote Bloc, nor would they have any conceivable reason to. Yet, here was Gilles Duceppe admitting that it wasn't for him to answer that question, and stating that his party's position is basically that "the West wants in and Quebec wants out"!

It would have made more sense to have Gilles take his turn in answering those voters from Quebec chosen to ask questions, and then stand politely at his podium during the rest of the debate. That would've aptly highlighted the impossibility of the Bloc forming a government and that unlike the other leaders, Gilles Duceppe isn't running to be Prime Minister. The same format could have reasonably been used during the French debates, where Duceppe would've still gotten less speaking time than the other leaders. This would've given Jim Harris space to outline his party's policy to Canadian voters. Six hundred thousand Canadians voted Green in 2004, but not one person outside of Quebec could even consider voting for Duceppe. I think such reforms to the BQ's partipation in the debates could result in higher ratings. The purpose of the debates is to give those individuals running to lead this country a chance to outline what policies they would adopt if elected.


At 7:14 PM, Blogger Saskboy said...

I too think the debate formate was senseless. I caught the English one on the radio since I was on a bus at the time it was aired. Jim Harris should have been at the debate, but it just shows how the media runs the show, and keeps whichever party the most journalists understand and support, in power.


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