So I've got elections on the brain. The biggest showdown outside of Election Day itself has got to be the Leaders Debate. The 2008 debate was four against one. Prime Minister Harper successfully defended himself and his government against the Leaders of the Liberal, NDP, Bloc, and Green Parties. If you don't recall the debate too well it went something like the this video.
It may have struck you that the four so-called leaders who opposed Mr. Harper in the last election debate were the same ones who formed a Coalition Party to overturn that election. The Coalition Party attempted to seize power outside of an election. Even though Mr. Dion was ousted by the current leader, Mr. Ignatieff, the Coalition was still very much on the table.
Despite protestations that they are not in a Coalition, their constituent parties act as one to thwart the government. They recently voted to keep the LGR in spite of its useless function, high cost, and insult to the character and will of the public.
If the Coalition Party exists by way of a singed affidavit in 2008 and 2009, and it exists by way of the voting practices in the house, and it will exist again in the seconds after minority Conservative election win, I submit that the Coalition Party does in fact exist.
The Coalition should not have four representatives in a Leaders Debate.
We are now in a two party system. Either the Conservative Party will get a majority or the Coalition Party will get a majority. The era of minority governments will not survive the next election. This is the last one.
Mr. Ignatieff should lead the Coalition Party and represent them in the leaders debate. Mr. Ignatieff is responsible for marshaling the Coalition against their constituents and deserves the credit for it. The Liberal Party will also make up the biggest chunk of the Coalition Party and therefore should lead it.
If hardcore left wingers don't like it then they should try to win their voters back. There is no reason to strategically vote for the Liberals just to bring down the CPC. Any vote for a left wing party is a vote for the Coalition. Socialists who want their NDP to have a bigger role in a Coalition government rather than submit to the limousine Liberals should vote that way.
The lesser Coalition members will never want to give up their seats in the debate. I never liked the crowded table format of the last debate anyway so I propose something different. How about a series of four one-on-one debates of each leader against every other party leader. There would be twenty debates in total and would allow each leader to fully articulate their positions and contrast them with the other leaders.
The five way brawl is just not useful. It ends up as a battle of cheap one liners designed to get on the evening news. It doesn't present arguments. It diminishes politics as a whole in the eyes of all voters and generally does a disservice to Canada's democracy.
The leaders of the lesser parties would find their exposure elevated in a debate series that I described. A busy person might only watch the four Harper debates to get what they need. The final debate between Iggy and Harper would be the must see event.
I believe we have what it takes to get a majority government if we can only get the message to the people. An election series will be more work, but its the right kind of work. Signage and adds and the daily faux scandals in the media are no way to elect a government. Voters are smart. They want to make the right choice. The forces of darkness of the left will use every dirty trick in the book and some that aren't. Look at the race for Mayor of Toronto if you want a taste. That's how its going to be except likely worse. Signs and commercials won't do anything unless they are part of a larger strategy to plainly state our superior positions and track record. The more chances we can do this the better.