Monday, September 13, 2010

1st Mayoral Debate

This evening I participated in the first of the Ottawa mayoral debates to be held during this election.

It was my understanding that all major participants would be granted equal time for comments and rebuttals. While this was the case during the first part of the session, when it came time for questions from the audience it deteriorated into what I perceived to be a two-candidate show.

I was under the impression that during the question and answer section of the debate questions asked by the audience would be answered by only two candidates in turn. As the following questions were posed, the responders would rotate thus giving all a chance to voice their positions on whatever subject the audience chose to inquire about.

What in fact transpired was that the questioner was given the choice of what 2 candidates they wished to hear from and it became a one on one debate between Mr. O’Brian and Mr. Watson.

I feel very strongly that when a debate between candidates is presented to the public it should allow, at least in some small way, for all participants to participate.

As this was quite evidently not the case, I saw little reason to remain and listen to only 2 participants debate the very important issues that face the public during this election.

I look forward to future debates when all views and platforms are given equal billing.

Below please see the video of my opening remarks for this debate and as always I welcome your input in the form of comments on this blog or an email.

Andy Haydon


  1. A debate moderator controls the questions asked in a debate and ensures the debate remains focused. Unbiased, the moderator allows each person or side of the issue equal time to share viewpoints and rebut or refute the opposition.

    The Moderators are morally bound by their duties as such to give each person or side equal time to answer the initial question and to offer counter-points to the opposing side of the issue.

    Had the proper rules and etiquette been in evidence at this so-called debate, there is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Haydon would have stayed and fought until he was the last man standing.

  2. Proper moderation is the key. Not necessarily should everyone get equal airtime, but those that are invited are usually considered key candidates and so should feel that they are included appropriately. Didn't see the debate so I don't really have specifics to comment on.