Leaders’ debates ‘unusually important’ to election due to COVID-19 pandemic

The official Leaders’ debates happening this week are an excellent chance for voters to compare the main party leaders on key policy themes, says Western’s Cristine de Clercy.

“Owing to the campaigning limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the short formal campaign period, these two debates likely will have an unusually important role to play in terms of informing Canadians about where each leader stands,” said de Clercy.

“For the leaders, these debates are key opportunities to communicate directly with millions of voters and to demonstrate why their party ought to form government. Given recent opinion polls, all eyes will be on Justin Trudeau’s messaging and performance as he contends with Erin O’Toole and Jagmeet Singh.”

de Clercy, an associate professor in Western’s department of political science, is available to media for comment.

An expert in leadership and politics, de Clercy is also the co-director of Western’s Leadership and Democracy Laboratory and director of the Leadership Education and Research Development (LEADR) Research Group.

Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, jrenaud9@uwo.ca, @jeffrenaud99

Western University delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals with a broad worldview, seeking to study, influence and lead in the international community