The role broadcasters ‎play in presenting election debates

May 14, 2015

Recently there have been some assertions made about the role that broadcasters ‎play in presenting election debates to Canadians. Speaking for the public broadcaster, we would like to clarify some facts:

  • An election is intended to be an exercise where the whole electorate comes together to decide who will govern them. The whole electorate should have access to the party leaders in an objective and independently devised format to debate the issues.

  • More debates and a diverse range of debates is good for democracy. We’re all for it.

  • The Broadcast consortium was never intended to be exclusive. Other broadcasters are welcome to participate or to do their own thing.

  • It was created to ensure that the maximum number of Canadians, ideally all Canadians, have access to at least some debates that are run on the basis of a level playing field, not on the basis of the interest of any given party. That is to say in a way that helps all Canadians make informed decisions about their political choices.

  • Every Canadian has access to one, if not all, of the broadcast consortiums’ stations.

  • CityTV is an urban-based broadcaster with 6 stations and Maclean’s has a circulation of over 300,000.

  • Radio-Canada broadcasts to all Francophones across the country. TVA is a broadcaster focused on the Quebec market.

  • Their debates will, no doubt, be well produced and valuable to their viewers/readers.

  • But we all believe that an election is about all Canadians, not just some of them. No one should be disenfranchised. We can reach all Canadians, so we should.

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