EDITORIAL: Don’t put stock in TV debate

B.C.'s political leaders offered little new information

Televised political debates in B.C. serve a few purposes. Viewers can see how party leaders engage in spirited discussion, how sincere they seem, how well they know the issues and how party policy relates to those issues.

But anyone can click on a political party website to find policy statements, and reams of information can be found on news sites that offer a sense of where individuals stand on certain issues.

In essence, then, the TV debate is primarily a chance for leaders to stand before the cameras, without their respective entourages, and prove they deserve to lead the province. Or, in the case of the Greens and Conservatives, that their party deserves your vote.

The sad fact is, if one turned off the picture and only listened to the sound portion of Monday’s highly scripted, made-for-TV debate, it could have been mistaken for question period in the B.C. legislature.

Frontrunners Christy Clark of the Liberals and Adrian Dix of the NDP frequently spoke over each other’s answers, and on several occasions avoided responding directly to public questions, if at all, choosing instead to repeat party slogans.

While both provided moments of calm clarity in the debate, the leaders with no chance of forming government – Jane Sterk of the Green Party and John Cummins of the Conservatives – were merely spectators to the main verbal jousting between the others.

Largely absent from debate around the overarching themes of “growing B.C.’s economy” (Clark) and “telling people how we’re going to pay for programs” (Dix) was talk of B.C.’s longtime top voter priorities – health care and education. They may not be the topics du jour for the leaders or their parties, but funding those areas remains a huge challenge and will affect all taxpayers.

The bickering-filled program came off more as cheesy reality TV than meaningful discussion about our province’s future. While the debate likely failed to inspire fence-sitters to get out and vote May 14, there are thankfully still opportunities before election day to learn where candidates and their parties stand.

Just Posted

Police respond to alleged bear-spray threats

A number of Comox dog owners have reported their off-leash dogs being threatened with bear spray

Brent Flahr new Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM

Courtenay resident reunited with Chuck Fletcher in Philadelphia

Comox Valley Food Bank – 35 years of feeding the Valley

The Comox Valley Food Bank turns 35 years old on Dec. 19,… Continue reading

Kingfisher Resort unveils newly renovated Ocean Courtyard Wing

The $2 million renovation was completed at the end of November

New Cumberland fire engine long overdue, says fire chief

The prospect of a new fire hall delayed the order as existing engine bays were too small

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Courtenay man named Flyers assistant GM

Brent Flahr spent nine-plus years in Minnesota

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Most Read