Keeping it social

We can reschedule a debate to help us choose our next leader in order to accommodate hockey fans, but we can’t let the leader of, judging by last election, seven per cent of our population into said debate.

Only in Canada.

We can reschedule a debate to help us choose our next leader in order to accommodate hockey fans, but we can’t let the leader of, judging by last election, seven per cent of our population into said debate.

We know what’s important … hockey and not challenging the status quo. And, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, it’s highly likely that more Canadians follow the Canucks than our political leaders. We wonder why voter turnout is low and why we can’t get youth interested in politics.

So who won the debate? Everyone and no one.

All the politicos are claiming that their guy won the debate and the other guys lost.

The pundits can’t help but roll out the sports analogies … there were no knockout punches, no one was on the ropes for too long, and they all scored. And with leaders’ debates, the pundits all seem to worry about who looks “prime ministerial.” But no one really defines what that means. Some suggest it’s being cool under pressure. But does it also mean being cold and unemotional?

Good debates should be about the exchange of ideas. And, with the leaders’ debate format opened up to allow some one-on-one debate, there actually were some exchanges of ideas. In that respect, this week’s the leaders’ debates were worthwhile. If you were looking for the drama of a bone-crunching hit or some elbows being thrown in the corners, it wasn’t there. But if you were looking for information on what our prospective leaders are like, it was there. It may have been a little dry, but it’s a valuable exercise. That exercise has been made even more valuable through social media.

For those who were interested, and there were a lot, Twitter feeds and Facebook updates ran rampant throughout the debates. Canadians were watching and commenting, as the debate went on, through social media.

The leaders were, in essence, only the backdrop for a larger debate that involved thousands of Canadians. And, just like the main debate, some of it was mundane, some of it was mean, some of it was humorous, but some was thoughtful, insightful, and relevant.

Rather than sitting in front of the tube and trying to stay awake, many Canadians were engaged through social media. And, at the risk of stereotyping, if most of those who enjoyed the debates by tweeting about them or posting to their Facebook pages are in a younger demographic than the majority of those who traditionally make their way to the ballot boxes, come Hell or high water, then that is a good thing.

The challenge for the leaders, though, is the same as it has always been … being relevant to younger Canadians.

– Prince George Free Press

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