We will soon begin to see the election debates start to take place, as we creep closer to the national voting day on October 19th of this year. The Tories have already made it clear that Harper doesn't intend to be involved with the debates as generously as the other parties will be. The Conservatives have said that they will not take place in any debates that are to be organized by the consortium of the three major networks in English or by Radio-Canada in French. Although, they have confirmed that they will be participating in a few, those which are being organized by Maclean's magazine, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto-based Munk Debates, and one that is being organized by the privately owned TVA in French.
The opposition parties have displayed enthusiasm toward getting the discussion and debates started. The debates are scheduled to feature Justin Trudeau of the Liberals, Elizabeth May of the Green Party, and Tom Mulclair of the NDP. The French language broadcast is also going to feature the Bloc Quebecois Leader Mario Beaulieu, who coincidentally has expressed discontent with the fact that they were not included in the English portion of the debates.
The NDP has also recently joined the fight with the Tories in raising concerns over the election debates being held at various Canadian Universities. The two parties are rejecting these venues because they say that those locations are “not neutral” enough. Cowering in fear, the Conservatives' raised the ultimate concern over not wanting the debates to be held at universities because a student might say something controversial or they might possibly throw something on stage. One person involved with the secret negotiations to settle the election debates, has made the insinuation that the Conservatives and the Tories are now working together against the Green Party and Liberals.
It isn't a surprise to many that the representatives would want to avoid any honest discussion, or to possibly face any controversial questions that they haven't rehearsed the answers to. The Harper government isn't known to be a bastion of transparency. Far from it. If they avoid taking part in these large public debates, that's only going to make more people wonder as to what their possible motives or reasoning could be for neglecting to be involved. It is alleged that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is choosing to participate only in debates from outlets which he feels most comfortable. As it stands now, it looks like there could be five possible debates and if the Tories have anything to say about it, then they will be deciding which of the 20 proposals from hosts will be accepted. As mentioned above, the Conservatives have already confirmed that they will participate in four debates, the NDP has made it clear that they will attend all of those involving the Tories and possibly more, outside of those five. Also, the Liberals have yet to officially commit to any debate proposals.
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