James Fitz-Morris wrote, in his CBC News article, “How Canadian: NHL trumps debate date,”
Politics and hockey went head to head Sunday and, in the end, the nation’s winter pastime held the bigger stick.
The parties and the broadcast consortium producing this week’s televised leaders debates have agreed to move the French-language debate — originally scheduled for Thursday — up a day after a conflict arose with the NHL playoffs.
Make no mistake, this decision was not imposed on the politicians. Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe said,
I want Quebecers to have the same opportunity to listen to that debate that Canadians will have. We all know hockey is very popular in Canada, and also in Quebec, and I think it would be a better choice to have that debate on Wednesday, so that people who like hockey and (will) have the full opportunity to see the debate and then listen to the hockey game on Thursday night.”
NDP party leader Jack Layton agreed than in the case of a conflict, a very large number of people would choose to watch hockey. He went further, saying,
Were I not in this election, I might well make the same decision
It is true that it’s in everyone’s best interest to have as many Canadians as possible involved in the political process, so I see no problem with moving the debate.
The English debate will air on Tuesday evening at 7, and I plan to have a fisk-ridden post up within a day or so.