Podiums not tables for leaders’ debates

Nice to see the round-table format tossed out in favour of the more adversarial podiums, which allow for the pre-planned stepping-out-from-behind-to-make-an-important-point move.

Here’s the press release from the broadcast consortium on details for next week’s leaders’ debates…

OTTAWA, April 6 /CNW/ – The Broadcasting Consortium announces that the 2011 Leaders’ Debates will be held at the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa.

As previously announced, the English debate, moderated by Steve Paikin, will be broadcast from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 12. The French debate will air between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 14, and will be co-moderated by Anne-Marie Dussault and Paul Larocque.

This morning, the Broadcasting Consortium also proceeded with its traditional draws in presence of the political parties’ representatives and members of the parliamentary press in Ottawa.

Elements of the debates such as podium positions and order of the leaders’ closing remarks are determined by these draws to ensure that no preference is given to any political party.

Podium positions will be as follows, from left to right.

English debate: S. Harper, J. Layton, M. Ignatieff, G. Duceppe

French debate: J. Layton, G. Duceppe, S. Harper, M. Ignatieff

The two-hour debates will be comprised of six segments. Each will begin with a question from a Canadian, which will launch a six-minute one-on-one debate between two leaders. Each segment will then conclude with a debate on that same topic open to all four leaders.

The one-on-ones will be held in the following order.

English debate:
1 – S. Harper – G. Duceppe
2 – M. Ignatieff – J. Layton
3 – S. Harper – M. Ignatieff
4 – G. Duceppe – J. Layton
5 – M. Ignatieff – G. Duceppe
6 – J. Layton – S. Harper

French debate:
1 – M. Ignatieff – G. Duceppe
2 – S. Harper – J. Layton
3 – M. Ignatieff – S. Harper
4 – G. Duceppe – J. Layton
5 – S. Harper – G. Duceppe
6 – J. Layton – M. Ignatieff

The closing arguments will be presented in the following order.

English debate:
1 – J. Layton
2 – G. Duceppe
3 – M. Ignatieff
4 – S. Harper

French debate:
1 – S. Harper
2 – M. Ignatieff
3 – G. Duceppe
4 – J. Layton

The Broadcasting Consortium members – CBC/Radio-Canada, CTV, Global, TVA – will each air the debates.

About the Broadcasting Consortium:
The Broadcasting Consortium is composed of Canada’s largest television networks. Its members – CBC/Radio-Canada, CTV, Global and TVA – invest resources in a joint effort to offer Canadians Leaders’ Debates in French and English.

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