Winnipeggers say there was much left to be desired after watching the federal debate at a viewing party Monday night.
Dozens of locals came together to watch the federal party leaders square off against each other during the official English-language debate for 2019 election at X-Cues Café & Lounge. Many of them left dissatisfied with the leaders’ performances.
“That's not what I expect from someone who wants to be my prime minister,” Deborah Jones says.
“There was so much circling and not enough answering questions. It’s really disappointing.”
All six main party leaders - Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet and the People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier - attended the debate. They spent their time championing their policies and criticizing others.
The debate focused on topics such as affordability, leadership, human rights and immigration, the environment, and Indigenous issues.
However, the night was overtaken by continuous personal attacks.
“They started to turn on each other and all these side conversations happening,” viewing party attendee Melissa Dvorak says.
“I found it hard to follow.”
Probe Research’s Mary Agnes Welch felt the debate was predictable in terms of the aggressive approaches. She said political debates are not game-changers among voters, but believes they serve a purpose.
"They can make people rethink a little bit of a leader or a party or propel some momentum among a leader,” she said.
A French-language debate among the federal leaders is slated for Thursday.
Canadians head to the polls on Monday, Oct. 21.