ICYMI – Milloy: Election debates lack real purpose

Valid questioning:

Why do we have leaders’ debates?

I suspect those Ontarians who bothered to watch the most-recent election debate are probably asking themselves that very question — I know that I am.

It’s not that there was anything particularly wrong with the evening and kudos to both the moderators and party leaders for all trying their best. But what was its purpose?

Theoretically, I guess it was to inform voters on the various policy positions of the parties to allow us to compare-and-contrast them.

However, all I remember hearing was the intention of each leader to throw huge amounts of money at every problem in a way that was somehow different from the boatloads of money promised by their competitor. Did I really talk that way when I was in politics?

In fairness, there were a few points of contrast, such as the differing party positions on the building of Highway 413. But let’s be honest, examples like these were few and far between.

Why does this happen?

Mainly it’s because public policy has become unbelievably complex and there are no easy solutions, yet voters have short attention spans. The only way for a party to get noticed is to simplify issues, couch them in bumper-sticker slogans and ditch the nuance.

Source: Election debates lack real purpose

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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