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Should there be a federal leaders debate on regional issues?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The federal party leaders face off in French tonight, following yesterday’s debate in English.

Some people say there should be a debate focusing on regional issues, because people in the west sometimes feel left out with issues important to BC not being addressed by the federal leaders. But University of Victoria Political scientist Dennis Pilon says he doesn’t think a regional debate is really necessary.

“I’m not sure a regional debate will end up being that much different from the national debate,” he explains. “I do think that a lot of the issues that concern Canadians across the country are national in scope.”

“It’s not that there aren’t particular regional issues. There always will be,” he adds. “But the broad, sweeping aspects of the policies, that’s what people care about.

Pilon also feels convincing the TV networks to devote more time to the federal election could be a tough sell. “We have some particular challenges. The CRTC has made it easier for broadcasters to commit less of their time, and obviously they take a hit because they can’t have [shows like] Dancing with the Stars… that they think is a huge ratings magnet.”

“The problem is that in a political situation, we need our broadcasters to play a democratic role,” he notes.

He adds even some issues brought up by Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe don’t just apply to people living in Quebec.