Petition update

The Munk Debate

John McLaughlan
Ottawa, Canada

Sep 16, 2015 — Mr. Harper, Mr. Mulcair, and Mr. Trudeau have all signed on for Monday's "bilingual" debate on Foreign Policy. It appears that it will be a free for all linguistic challenge where the leaders (as well as the moderator, Rudyard Griffiths) can choose which official language they want to use, when they want to use it. There will be translation if you watch on CPAC, it is unclear if that service will be broadcast through the online streams.

It should be noted that despite an online petition, and although Mr. Trudeau has publicly campaigned for Elizabeth May to attend, the Leader of the Green Party has not been invited. If you follow her tweets, you will be able to read her live responses.

It also appears that only those with access to CPAC or an internet plan sufficient to stream the videos will be able to see and hear the debate (along with those who purchased a ticked to the event).

The Macleans debate used a similar format and only managed to reach about an average audience of 1.5 million, topping at a little less than 4 million. It was streamed online less than 300,000 times.

In contrast, the last English Consortium debate reached approximately 10.6 million viewers (averaging about 4 million viewers).

It remains mystifying why Mr. Mulcair is following Mr. Harper's leadership on this issue and not seeking to reach out to as many voters and would be voters as possible. By independently confirming their attendance to the English Consortium debate, the two holdouts would show respect for voters by allowing us to contrast plans with that of the other leaders, as well as demonstrate support of the CBC and Consortium partners (CTV, Global, Tele-Quebec).

As the English Consortium debate is set for October 8 at 6pm, we only have about three weeks to ask Mr. Mulcair and Mr. Harper to have a change of heart and attend this last opportunity to reach out to millions of voters.

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