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The conservative leadership candidate Kevin O’Leary was scheduled to take part in the Conservative leadership debate which was to be held in Edmonton recently. Apparently, the debate has to go on with one empty chair, since O’Leary backed out of the engagement stating that there was no point to taking part in the debate.
According to O’Leary, the format of the event was bad to begin with. Having fourteen people sitting on a stage and arguing amongst themselves is just a bad format because it results to having no time to discuss new ideas which could be examined, which should be the format of any real debate.
While the words seem harsh coming from the candidate for the conservative leadership, but O’Leary may have a point. The format of the debate was changed at the Manning Centre Conference which was held in Ottawa where the leadership candidates had an old fashioned square off, but in groups of three or four rather that all the candidates going for each other jugulars at the same time. This led to even more pandemonium on stage. Until then, all of the events that were organized by the Conservatives had involved up to fourteen candidates who had to answer the same question, with little or no chance to challenge another candidate’s answer.
O’Leary released a statement in which he said that his team had tried to have the format of the Edmonton debate altered to the one which was used in the conference held at the Manning Centre, but that could not go through since only one candidate agreed to the Manning Centre format. While O’Leary and his team decided it would be best to skip the debate altogether, he did say that he would be holding an intimate fireside discussion at a nearby hotel with his supporters, which would start at the same time as the official Edmonton debate.