While a Conservative leadership candidate is asking election organizers to release details on the format of the next official debate, the party says decisions will be made within the next 24 hours.
In an open letter to the party’s Leadership Election Organizing Committee (LEOC), Leslyn Lewis said she thinks the third debate should deviate from “the usual questions” to focus on the issues she says members of The whole country has been asking him.
In the letter, posted on Twitter, Lewis also said the candidates did not have enough time to change their campaign plans to attend the mandatory Aug. 3 debate in Ottawa.
The MP from Ontario says the date for the next bilingual debate was chosen even though she notified the committee that she was not available that day.
In the letter, Lewis also asks LEOC if the debate will be a repeat of topics previously addressed, or if the candidates he says he listens to “every night on [her] campaign events.
“It’s easy to poll the party’s 675,000 members and select a few ‘member-asked questions’ that are safe and paint our side in a media-friendly light,” Lewis wrote in the open letter. “But if we’re going to have a debate that’s really going to inform members’ voting decisions, we need to address the questions that members are asking us directly.”
Lewis’s letter doesn’t specifically state whether she will attend the debate, but she said she’s not sure she can justify missing the opportunity to meet directly with Canadians to attend “an impromptu meeting with leadership candidates” and answer questions to which answers already exist online. line.
Party spokesman Yaroslav Baran said in an email to CTVNews.ca on Wednesday that decisions on the debate will be finalized within the next 24 hours, and he expects the remaining five candidates to attend.
“Obviously, this type of process cannot be successful if we allow individual campaigns to dictate the questions as a condition of participation,” he said. “Multiply that by five campaigns, and the entire integrity of the debate plan falls apart. It clearly can’t work that way.”
“We trust that it will be a good debate that allows Canadians to evaluate the positions of the candidates,” he added. “Since it is an official debate, it is considered mandatory. Beyond that, we understand that passions can sometimes run high in these moments, and we appreciate that each campaign makes its own decisions.”
Meanwhile, Conservative Party Chairman Rob Batherson told CTV News Channel last week that the candidates received “a lot” of notice about the third debate, and that the decision to hold one is in the interest of party members.
Pierre Poilievre has already announced that he will be skipping the event to focus on getting the vote, for which he incurs a $50,000 fine for not attending a mandatory official debate. In a statement at the time, his campaign criticized LEOC for the format of the earlier debate in English, which he called “a disgrace.”
The other three candidates in the race, Jean Charest, Scott Aitchison and Roman Baber, have all said they favor a third official debate.
Voting is underway now, and ballots must be returned to the party by September 6. A new leader will be announced on September 10 in Ottawa.