All four main na­tional party lead­ers agree to mid-sum­mer Ma­clean’s de­bate

Asian Journal - - Nation - By Joan Bry­den, The Cana­dian Press

Ot­tawa: The lead­ers of all four ma­jor na­tional par­ties will go head to head in the first de­bate of the fed­eral elec­tion sea­son in the depths of sum­mer when vot­ers aren’t likely to be pay­ing close at­ten­tion. Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mul­cair, Green party Leader El­iz­a­beth May and af­ter some ini­tial reser­va­tions Lib­eral Leader Justin Trudeau will take part in an Aug. 6 de­bate spon­sored by Ma­clean’s mag­a­zine. Lib­er­als had wanted the de­bate to in­clude a live au­di­ence or ques­tions from or­di­nary Cana­di­ans, but mul­ti­ple sources say that idea was shot down by the Con­ser­va­tives and NDP. The Con­ser­va­tives last month de­clared that Harper will par­tic­i­pate in five de­bates and pre-emp­tively agreed to four de­bates or­ga­nized by Ma­clean’s, Que­bec tele­vi­sion net­work TVA, the Munk De­bates and the Globe and Mail, work­ing in con­cert with Google. The Tories ruled out Harper’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the two tele­vised de­bates (one French, one English) that are tra­di­tion­ally or­ga­nized by a con­sor­tium of the coun­try’s ma­jor broad­cast­ers. Sources from mul­ti­ple par­ties say the NDP has backed up the Con­ser­va­tives al­most ev­ery step of the way in de­bate ne­go­ti­a­tions, ef­fec­tively al­low­ing the gov­ern­ing party to call all the shots.

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