Liberals turn leadership debate into doldrum

The media has described Saturday's provincial Liberal leadership debate as a "group hug," "tame" and a "colossal dud." But that wasn't just by accident. It was by party design. Despite efforts from leadership candidates Kevin Falcon and Mike de Jong to "juice up" the debate format, the "revised" rules for that event allowed for "no formal rebuttal opportunities" and "no Qs" from the convention floor. The candidates were also provided a list of the topics they'd be asked about - with just 90 seconds allocated for responses. And there were even restrictions on the partisan material their supporters were allowed to bring to the debate. "No large signage, placards, balloons, or other materials that would block views of other attendees," read an internal party document exclusively obtained by Public Eye. The following is a complete copy.

Debate Format Update:

Based on agreement from candidate representatives, we have updated our debate format as follows. The format of the Vancouver debate is as follows:

Opening statements (4-min, draw for position)

Eight questions from moderator to subsets of candidates. (up to 90-seconds response, no Qs from the floor)

Each question will be asked of three candidates, rotated sequentially, based on opening statement draw.

Subsets for question & answers: 123, 456, 234, 561, 345, 612, 456, 123

Closing statements (2-min, reverse order of opening)

Partisan material allowed, but no large signage, placards, balloons, or other materials that would block views of other attendees.

No formal rebuttal opportunities

Confirmed Moderator: Vancouver: Graham Bruce, Former Cabinet Minister

MLA Topics (Random will not correspond to order of subsets):
Seniors and health care funding
Budget deficits
BC Ferries
Voter confidence
Education stakeholders
Justice system
Regional economic development
Constituency representation

3 Comments

"No Q's" from the convention floor. Is anyone surprised by this? This is consistent with a BC Liberal government that does not believe in either public consultation or answering questions posed during the legislature's question period.

Advocate, thank you for your support of government by CKNW, for the people, of the people!

There's some debate video... of course, its the Christy Clark fans running it complete w/ lots of NDP-bashing. Lots! It was like an All-Star game... lots of offense, few defense!

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