Press Release - Leadership debate a "dumpster-fire", says Independent Candidate for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke

Press Release - Leadership debate a "dumpster-fire", says Independent Candidate for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke
Posted on September 10, 2021 | Stefan Klietsch | Written on September 10, 2021
Letter type:

On the night of Thursday, September 9th, thousands of Canadians tuned in to watch the English election debate between the leaders of the Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, Greens, and Bloc Quebecois.  The debate format was widely panned by watching commentators, accused by some of being the worst leadership debate to date.

"This leadership election debate was a dumpster-fire," stated Independent Candidate Stefan Klietsch.  "The format of the debate not only managed to insult the intelligence of the voters who were watching, but even managed to make the national parties' pie-in-the-sky platforms look credible and thoughtful by comparison."

Mr. Klietsch identified the following problems with the debate format:

  • Exclusion of the leader of a party running more candidates and polling higher than two of the participating parties
  • Moderators arguing with and reprimanding party leaders on the substance of policy answers rather than trusting the audience to judge the answers for themselves
  • A visible lack of organization and discipline to the point that moderators interrupted other moderators
  • Constant replacement of moderators in such an illogical manner as to become a distraction
  • Repeated moderator calls for "five seconds" to give an answer
  • Inability of party leaders to rebut opponent claims about their platform except by speaking out of turn
  • This being the one and only English debate among party leaders even as there have been multiple French-language debates in the campaign

"For the second election in a row, the quality of our English leadership debates has been abysmal," added Mr. Klietsch.  "Canadians deserve a better and more thoughtful political debate than this."

Mr. Klietsch concluded by suggesting that there should be several leadership debates in the course of an election, and that election debates can be both in English and French in one night so to speak to the whole country.  He also suggested that there be a Royal Commission, all-party committee, or citizens' assembly to explore reforming the leadership debate rules and laws.

"The circus act that Canadians witnessed in the English leadership debate this election should never be repeated again."

About The Author

Stefan Klietsch's picture

Stefan Klietsch grew up in the Ottawa Valley outside the town of Renfrew.  He later studied Political Science at the University of Ottawa, with a Minor in Religious Studies.  He was the 2015 Green Party of Canada... More