Let’s face it: very FEW Canadians attend political rallies, turn out for election events, study political speeches, read full party platforms or get to see our prospective “leaders” in action beyond quick clips on the news.
In this country of 37 million people … with 26 million eligible voters … the televised Leaders’ Debates offer a window into what the Leaders are like under more spontaneous conditions than in their professionally-produced ads; can explore their personal beliefs; show how they perform under pressure; hear directly where they stand on a variety of issues; and, maybe … just maybe … reveal what they intend to do for … and to … us, if elected.
All of it hopefully exposed through questioning, prodding and challenges by experienced, knowledgeable, probing journalists.
Which is why it is disappointing, to say the least, that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has (so far) agreed to take part in only ONE English-language televised debate … the bare MINIMUM … during the entire 2019 election campaign.
Especially when the same Prime Minister has agreed to take part in TWO French-language televised debates.
Am I missing something?
The portion of the Canadian population who identify French as their primary language is now only 20.6%.
How can the Liberal leader justify taking part in TWO televised debates in Canada’s MINORITY language … but only ONE televised debate in the country’s MAJORITY language?
Trudeau is clearly giving the finger to English-speaking Canadians.
And not just the VAST MAJORITY of voters in British Columbia, the West, Ontario and the Maritimes … but also the sizeable number of English-speaking Canadians in Quebec as well.
It’s a coast to coast to coast insult.
Readers of this blog know that I am a strong supporter of Canada’s official bilingualism; respect for minority rights; proud of my own Quebec roots; and, worked hard to learn Francais in La Belle Province many decades ago, at a time when many Anglos sadly did not.
But I believe the MAJORITY of Canadians deserve consideration and time that EQUALS the consideration and time Trudeau’s willing to devote to the minority when it comes to televised debates … and not be treated as second class citizens and voters.
There are TWO additional English-language debates being offered in addition to the one already accepted by Trudeau: he should join the other national leaders and take part in at least one of them.
His will send out a message of EQUALITY if he does …. and a message of PREFERENTIAL catering to French-speaking voters if he does not.
(This will be a very close, critical federal election: I invite ALL readers to participate in the discussions on here and to pass along the link to this Blog http://www.harveyoberfeld.ca to friends and family to encourage a full discussion of issues and ideas … before they vote Oct 21.
And, of course, anyone can get FREE First Alerts to all new topics on the blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam … just FREE First Alerts. )