Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Friday, May 06, 2005


File this under 'it's about time' or 'gee, I hope they do this'

Networks propose election debate shakeup.

Basically, the networks want two more debates on top of the traditional two debates from Ottawa . One would be in French. The other in English. Both would be held somewhere outside Ottawa. They're even suggesting a format to avoid all the interruption and chaos we normally have to endure while watching them.

These are changes long overdue.

If there is one thing the Americans do better than us it's the staging of national political debates. Having one official language makes it easier for them, of course. But they usually have three in a campaign now. They move them around the country. They even hold them in front of a live audience. Their only drawback is excessive structure. Whereas ours tend to be chaotic, theirs tend to be like staged dual press conferences. Very little room for genuine exchanges. But they come across as special events. I don't think ours really do.

I hope the proposed changes are initiated. It's about time.

The only thing I don't like is the need to have any debates at all in Ottawa. Why is this considered mandatory? Then again, we are a much more regionalized country than the US. If you don't have the Ottawa debates as an anchor you would probably always have someone complaining about where they're being held. Such is Canada.

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