Should candidates be required to attend debates?

Debates are a very important part of the democratic process.  That said, it is clear  that debates  are used and manipulated  by parties  and candidates to improve  their  position.  Some candidates simply refuse  to appear. It  is next to impossible to find a  Conservative Party candidate appearing at any debate  in Toronto.  It  is no surprise that the Conservative “Candidate” in  Toronto Danforth has refused  to appear in the April 28 Toronto  Danforth All  Candidates debate. She has nothing to lose  but everything to gain – don’t  know  why she won’t appear.

Once again, the NDP “Candidate”  Jack Layton has refused to appear in any debates  in Toronto Danforth. I  suppose that Mr. Layton feels that he has  nothing to gain and only something to lose. He seems  to have  forgotten that his primary that he has a seat in the House  of Commons only because of the  voters of Toronto  Danforth. (By  the way he was also  offered the opportunity to appear by Skype)  – but  the message from Mr.  Layton’s campaign team is clear:

Jack Layton will  not appear in an all  candidates debate in Toronto Danforth. Once again,  his will be an empty seat.

What are  your thoughts? Express them in the poll above.


3 thoughts on “Should candidates be required to attend debates?”

  1. So far the poll is unanimous that candidates should attend debates. Apparently the party leaders feel that they should not attend debates.

    Digital Journal:

    All-candidates debates — off-limits to Canadian party leaders
    Posted Apr 23, 2011 by ■ Andrew Moran
    Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper have already declined to attend their riding’s all-candidates debates. New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton was the latest to announce that he won’t be attending either.

    Canadian federal party leaders and riding constituents are concerned over the reports that a number of federal candidates are not attending all-candidates debates. Last week, Conservative candidate Kevin Moore did not attend the Toronto Centre all-candidates debate, and New Democrat nominee Nicole Yovanoff did not participate in the all-candidates Don Valley West meeting.
    This has led to deep criticism from Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, who was reported saying that it’s “basic democratic politics, you show up.” Although Ignatieff himself will not be in attendance in his own riding’s debates, he encourages all candidates to take part in the important process.

    According to Inside Toronto, Toronto-Danforth Member of Parliament and leader of the New Democratic Party, Jack Layton, and Conservative candidate Katarina von Koenig have formally announced that they will not be attending Thursday’s all-candidates meeting at the Don Mills United Church.

    Last week, Green Party candidate Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu issued an open challenge to Layton to attend the debate – something he has not done in the past three elections. “Lots of voters decide at debates who they’ll vote for. I think he ought to make that effort,” said Mugnatto-Hamu. “I do think people want to hear from their potential representative.”

    She added that these kinds of decisions are “anti-democratic” and is another step that is “leading the country down the wrong path.”
    What does the NDP leader have to say about this? Well, that he is sorry.

    “Unfortunately, as the national party leader I just can’t make it to the local debate. We have to be all across the country,” said Layton. “I’m thankful to the constituents for their understanding and support; to the people for forgiving me for the absence.”
    Layton noted, though, that a qualified representative to take his place in the debate.

    The debate organizers have invited Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada candidate Marie Crawford, Liberal candidate Andrew Lang, and the aforementioned candidates.

    Read more:

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