Every university in the country has held or will hold a federal election debate featuring the local candidates.
I’ve attended many student union run election debates. Some have went well, but many have turned sour due to a poorly chosen moderator, usually a student union politician.
Generally, the debate collapses into a series of shouting matches and partisan bickering with the moderator powerless to stop it. The causes for this are many. Often, the audience at these debates consists almost entirely of partisan supporters looking to cheer their candidate and heckle their opponent; the politicians are aware of this and know they will neither gain or lose votes at the debate.
Due to the young age of the moderator, and their lack of presence, many candidates do not feel the need to respect the moderator. Politics is a cut-throat affair.
It is for these reasons that I note with interest that UWaterloo’s election debate was moderated by their Dean of Arts.
What I’m really interested to know is if the candidates went off the talking points or actually debated.