[Newsword] Leaders' Debate: An Exercise in the Service of Democracy | Elections Quebec 2022

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[News update] Leaders' debate: an exercise in the service of democracy | Élections Quebec 2022

The leaders of the five main parties in the race for the Quebec election will cross swords in the new Maison de Radio-Canada.

Leaders' debates are key moments in election campaigns. This is why it is very likely that many of you this evening will listen to the leaders' debate produced by Radio-Canada and which will also be broadcast by L'actualité, CPAC, Le Devoir, La Presse and Télé-Québec. And good for democracy.

Leaders' debates spark interest in the electoral process. It is also often from this moment, in the middle of the campaign, that we observe an increase in the number of visits to our electoral content, a sign of greater enthusiasm.

They allow voters to compare the positions of leadersabout the main issues of the campaign. In this election, five parties compete. There are therefore five platforms and hundreds of commitments: we have identified more than 500 and sifted through hundreds of pages of PDF documents to build our program comparator. That's a lot of information to unravel. Debate is one of the tools to find your way around.

Thursday's debate is divided into five thematic blocks:

  • Environment

  • Cost of living and economy

  • Health

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    Education and services to citizens

  • French, immigration and identity

The debates also give voters the opportunity to see what the candidates have in their stomachs, to quote Patrice Roy, who will host his fourth electoral debate. The chefs face each other, live. If they are elected, this is an exercise they will have to perform regularly in the National Assembly.

The exchanges are made according to clear rules for everyone, for the participants of course, but also for you who attend the debate.

Since 2018, viewers can see the leaders' cumulative speaking time displayed on screen. We do this for the sake of transparency. It is, of course, the role of the moderator to ensure that each leader gets a fair amount of speaking time. But it's also the leaders' responsibility to manage their speaking time since they, like you, see the timer.

Debates are also one more opportunity for leaders to speak directly to voters… and sometimes debunking the facts a little to serve their cause. That's why our reporters are here to fact-check their claims in real-time in our live coverage on our digital platforms..

Voter questions, your questions, are also at the heart of the exercise. For this edition, we have collected your concerns over the past few weeks across Quebec. Aspiring Prime Ministers will have to answer them at the start of each of the five thematic blocks.

Because you will have the last word.

  • Our Electoral Compass, to help you situate yourself in relation to the parties
  • Our Comparator of electoral platforms to review party commitments
  • Our complete file on the provincial elections

< em>Luce Julien is Director General of News at Radio-Canada

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