Last Thursday, two important debates happen simultaneously — the Canadian National Leader’s Debate and the Republican leadership debate in the U.S.
The two broadcasts had a very different feel, which is somewhat justifiable given that one comprised of national leaders while the other was of prospective party leaders. A video circulating online captures truly how contrasting the two debates really were: the Canadian party leadership debate didn’t get nearly as dazzling as this year’s Republican debate.
A wild crowd cheered on the Republican candidates in Ohio in front of a Fox News panel. At the same time, a modest studio in Toronto featured Canadian party leaders moderated by Maclean’s magazine’s political editor Paul Wells.
The video, titled “USA vs. Canada –Debates,” captures the first six minutes of each debate. As thousands cheered on the individual Republican candidates, the Canadian leadership debate jumped right into opening remarks.
Donald Trump immediately stole the show in the American broadcast as he denied pledging to not run independently. Boos and laughs echoed throughout the stadium and Rand Paul accused Trump of buying and selling politicians. Meanwhile in Toronto, Thomas Mulcair and Stephen Harper duel off on the economy and jobs.
It’s true, the Canadian debate occurred in a much more significant campaign stage than the American one: Canadians are about two months away from electing the leader of their nation whereas America’s two political parties have just begun the process of selecting their party leader.
Perhaps it would have been more effective to take this Liberal Party leadership debate video from 2013 as an example. This may have been an exciting debate to watch for political junkies (keep in mind there’s an astronaut in the debate, and that’s pretty cool).
But it’s more than clear that American debates sometimes present themselves with more noise and flare.