Canada: The case for (some) Max Bernier in the commission debates - - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaThe case for (some) Max Bernier in the commission debates

08:30  18 september  2019
08:30  18 september  2019 Source:   macleans.ca

Andrew Coyne: Trudeau is gaming the election debate system, just like Harper before him

Andrew Coyne: Trudeau is gaming the election debate system, just like Harper before him Explaining why the prime minister would not participate in the full schedule of leaders’ debates this election campaign, as he had in 2015, Liberal director of communications Daniel Lauzon said his leader would only show up for debates organized by the federal Leaders’ Debates Commission — the one designed and implemented by the Liberals. “The commission,” he elaborated, “was established after the last election where the governing party tried to game the system.” That much is true.

On Monday, the commission organizing the debates announced that Bernier had met the threshold for inclusion in the debates as established by the government last year. It is hard to fault commissioner David Johnston, who was appointed governor general by Stephen Harper

17: Bernier invited to debates , Trudeau 'supports' the CBC and the Liberals and Conservatives fight over who's got more Faith. Bernier makes the cut: After initially being sidelined from participating in the two debates set up by the Trudeau government’s election debates commission , the

The case for (some) Max Bernier in the commission debates© Used with permission of / © St. Joseph Communications. Bernier rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on April 19, 2018 (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

(Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.)

In 1968, in the first televised Canadian leaders debate, in a long ago era of skinny ties and all-male political events, CBC, CTV and Radio Canada invited the leaders of Canada’s national political parties into the living rooms of the nation to discuss their policies.

For the first hour and 15 minutes, the leaders of the day — Liberal Leader Pierre Trudeau, Progressive Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield and New Democratic Leader Tommy Douglas — sat behind podiums, standing in turn when called upon to politely discuss their policies in a manner that now seems quaintly non-confrontational.

Voters deserve better on leaders’ debates

Voters deserve better on leaders’ debates When it comes to campaign debates, more is generally better than less. Let the leaders have it out. Let the chips fly and let the voters sort it out. With that in mind, as both citizens and journalists we’d ideally like to see the federal party leaders take part in more than the three debates that are now scheduled for the election campaign that will officially kick off on Wednesday. But does Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau deserve all the criticism he’s getting for agreeing to those three and no more? Not really.

Mad Max is heading to the debates . David Johnston, the man in charge of the official, government-sanctioned debates , has issued a formal invitation to Maxime Bernier , leader of the People’s Party of Canada.

Bernier has argued that not inviting him to take part in the debates was the commission 's way of excluding the only party who had anything different to The organization in charge of Canada‘s official leadership debates sent out invitations to the other party leaders last month but left Bernier off the list.

With 45 minutes left, the organizers brought in Réal Caouette, leader of Ralliement Créditiste, a Quebec party with nine seats in the House.

Caouette, whose party has since disappeared, was a social conservative and advocate for quirky theories about monetary policy, occupying a similar position in the political landscape as Maxime Bernier’s Peoples Party does today.

It seems to me that the organizers of that first debate were right to invite Mr. Caouette and also right to give him less time than the other leaders, and the consortium of nine media outlets putting together two debates in this campaign would be wise to consider the precedent.

On Monday, the commission organizing the debates announced that Bernier had met the threshold for inclusion in the debates as established by the government last year.

People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier invited to two broadcast debates

People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier invited to two broadcast debates OTTAWA — People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has secured an invitation Monday to two official leaders' debates in October. Bernier had previously been denied a chance to attend because the independent commission responsible for organizing the debates found his party did not have multiple candidates with a "legitimate chance" of being elected. 

The official Leaders' Debates Commission has decided to invite Maxime Bernier , leader of the People's Party of Canada, to participate in the English and French debates that will be televised next month. Instead, he was asked to provide more information as the commission considered his case .

The official Leaders' Debates Commission has decided to invite Maxime Bernier , leader of the People's Party of Canada, to participate in the English and French debates that will be televised next month. Instead, he was asked to provide more information as the commission considered his case .

It is hard to fault commissioner David Johnston, who was appointed governor general by Stephen Harper, for including Bernier.

READ MORE: 9 must-see moments from the 2019 National Leaders Debate

Since he bolted the Conservatives and set up his own party, Bernier has signed up 40,000 members, recruited candidates across the country, raised significant amounts of money and managed to win a fair amount of media coverage.

Johnston initially ruled that Bernier could not participate. When Bernier objected, Johnston asked for a list of five ridings that the party might win. Johnston hired Ekos to poll those ridings,  and determined that the party is competitive in several of them. (The Ekos polls found that in the ridings surveyed, those who declared a vote for the PPC either possible, likely or certain ranged between 24 and 34 per cent.)

Given all that, it seems Johnston had little chance but to invite Bernier.

People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier invited to two broadcast debates

People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier invited to two broadcast debates OTTAWA — People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has secured an invitation Monday to two official leaders' debates in October. Bernier had previously been denied a chance to attend because the independent commission responsible for organizing the debates found his party did not have multiple candidates with a "legitimate chance" of being elected. But former governor general and current debates commissioner David Johnston gave the party more time to make its case for inclusion. And on Monday, Johnston said that given new evidence, the People's Party of Canada does in fact have a "reasonable chance" at winning multiple seats.

We’re not fans of the fact the Trudeau government was instrumental in setting up the only two official leaders’ debates in the federal election. But we are pleased the commission decided Monday to allow People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier to participate in both the English debate on Oct.

Maxime Bernier argues he deserves place in leaders' debates . David Johnston, the former governor general and the commissioner of the debate organizing group, previously told Bernier in a letter that the People's Party has not yet met one of the criteria to participate in the televised debates — namely

The Conservatives and New Democrats objected immediately. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that the commission should not have invited Bernier because “it’s wrong to give Mr. Bernier the platform to spread his hateful and divisive message.”

Although I find Bernier’s positions on immigration and climate change to be bone-headed, the commission is not empowered, not should it be, to weigh the party’s platforms and only approve participants who are proposing ideas that are not hateful or divisive.

The Conservatives instead focussed on a process they think is fixed.

“It’s no big surprise that Justin Trudeau’s hand-picked debate panel used a Liberal-friendly pollster who attacks Andrew Scheer to ultimately justify Mr. Bernier’s attendance at the debate,” the party said in a release. “Trudeau has been stacking the deck for months, using the power of his office to tilt the playing field in his favour for this election.”

This is not accurate. The commission’s advisory panel, which includes Deborah Grey, the first Reform MP elected in Canada, did not make this call. Johnston did, and the Conservatives would face an uphill battle convincing anyone he is a Liberal stooge.

Bernier's in — and the federal election debates just got less predictable

Bernier's in — and the federal election debates just got less predictable The stage is set for Maxime Bernier. His challenge now is to perform. The leader of the nascent People's Party of Canada (PPC) yesterday got his coveted invitation to take part in the two televised debates organized by the independent Leaders' Debate Commission. The debates — one in English and the other in French — will be held on Oct. 7 and Oct 10. The invitation extended by debates Commissioner David Johnston reverses a preliminary ruling last month that found Bernier didn't meet two of the commission's three criteria to qualify.

The Leaders' Debates Commission , formed by the federal government to organize the two debates , said Bernier 's party has a "legitimate" chance of electing Bernier has said that participating in the debates is crucial to getting his new party's message in front of potentially receptive voters.

23 letter, the debates commission gave the PPC until Sept. 9 to provide more evidence. In a press release Monday, Johnston said he had received the requested additional evidence on Sept. Bernier 's participation in the debates will undoubtedly increase the number of votes the PPC will get.

The Conservatives may be forgiven their angry message, though, because they must be terribly disappointed to learn that Scheer’s former rival for the leadership of their party will join the debate, raising his profile among right-leaning voters who have not been paying close attention.

This is potentially disastrous for Scheer, mostly because Bernier seems to have scores to settle with him. Bernier made it clear after his narrow loss to Scheer that he thought some funny things happened when they were counting the votes. His subsequent departure from the CPC and establishment of his own party makes sense if he thinks that the party cheated him out of the leadership.

If he can win five per cent of the votes in ridings across Canada, which will be much likelier if people have seen him in a debate, it gets much harder for the Conservatives to beat the Liberals in this election.

Scheer is in a vice, with Bernier on his right and Trudeau on his left. It does not look like a comfortable position. If he moves too far to the right, Trudeau can warn suburban centrists that he’s extreme. If he moves too far to the centre, Bernier can make a pitch to voters who dislike pride parades and think Canada’s letting in too many Muslims.

That’s politics, which isn’t always a very nice business.

338Canada: The very long odds for the PPC

338Canada: The very long odds for the PPC Philippe J. Fournier: The debate commission ruled Bernier's party has a legitimate shot at winning more than one seat. The 338Canada model suggests not.

The federal commission that runs official election debates has issued an invitation to People’s It’s also possible “Mad Max ’s” inclusion will be worst for Bernier , himself. Bernier has been known to have trouble keeping his ego in check. If Bernier shines in the debates (or Scheer stumbles), a lot of

The debates give Bernier a national stage upon which to promote his ideas — many of which are at direct odds with those of the other parties, and some of which challenge some of this country's long-standing Neither the NDP nor the Conservatives wanted Bernier in the debates . They still don't.

But the media, which is already viewed with suspicion by many right-leaning voters, should take care that they are not helping Scheer and Trudeau tighten the vice.

In this election, there are two candidates who might become prime minister: Scheer and Trudeau. At the debates next month, Canadians need to hear from Singh, Bernier, Green Leader Elizabeth May and Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, but it is not written anywhere that they deserve as much time on our TVs as the two front runners.

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Don’t be afraid of including Maxime Bernier in debates.
Don’t be afraid of including Maxime Bernier in debates

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