We’re going into Federal election mode. The next election is slated, by law, to be held exactly one year from today (if the government does not call it in April, after a March budget).
Patrice Roy is a Radio-Canada journalist who hosts the 6pm Le téléjournal Montréal (the local Radio-Canada Montréal evening newscast, not to be confused with Le téléjournal which is the pan-Canadian national evening newscast). Roy has held several high profile positions on Radio-Canada over the years, most notably political bureau chief in Ottawa, and Québec City. He brings a great deal of political savvy to his job.
Over the last several days, he conducted and aired a series of interviews with all four major Federal party leaders (with the exception of Elizabeth May from the Green Party, and with the exception of Steven Harper who sent Denis Lebel in his place) — candidates who hope to be the next Prime Minister.
Patrice Roy spent only 10 minutes interviewing each candidate. I believe he did an excellent job of asking the most pertinent questions possible of each candidate – questions the public and political observers have been asking themselves of the candidates. Roy decided to interview each candidate individually while walking with them in a public space. The “walking” nature kept the public from crowding around the politicians. When confronted with very challenging questions, because the politicians were walking, it was difficult for them to respond in an equally confrontational manner (as opposed to sitting in a quiet room using a chair as a crutch). Because they were interviewed separately while walking, it also kept “stage-performances” out of the equation. The format of the series lent much to “thinking-on-your-feet” answers.
Objectively speaking, I was also equally impressed by Roy’s ability to treat all candidates equally. He asked similar natured questions to each candidate, and also asked questions specific to each candidate, honing in on what they are most criticized for by the public. It was a fair, pertinent, and telling interview. I don’t think many other interviewers could have flushed out quite the same responses as Patrice Roy. Considering its short length, it was one of the better political interview series I’ve seen in a many years on any Canadian television. We’re only at the beginning of the campaign, and naturally, I don’t think all candidates want to show all their cards at this point (at least one has said he doesn’t want to release the entirety of his party’s platform until the writ has actually fallen). But if Patrice Roy continues to follow-up with them over the course of the next several months, I think we’re going to see some excellent reporting and very insightful (or at least useful) responses which will help the public decide who to vote for. I wholeheartedly hope that Radio-Canada keeps Patrice Roy on this file and keeps this interview series alive.
You can see the interviews here (in alphabetical order):
Mario BEAULIEU interview – Bloc Québécois
Denis LEBEL interview – stand-in for Steven HARPER – Conservative
Thomas MULCAIR interview – NPD
Justin TRUDEAU interview – Liberal
Regardless of your political stripes, he takes much of the guesswork and doubt out of the equation, asks questions anyone would be interested in, and he allows you to concentrate squarely on the matter at hand. If you will be voting sometime within the next 12 months (and I sincerely hope you do), I strongly recommend you catch Roy’s latest interview series, and that you continue to follow him throughout the year.
Being informed is essential when it comes to voting. It’s our civic responsibility. Every vote counts and is extremely important – regardless of your political stripes.