CBC-TV and CBC Radio election coverage

Daily roundup of broadcast election coverage
CBC-TV and CBC Radio: Canada Votes 2008 coverage 
From left to right, Green party Leader Elizabeth May, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe. ((Canadian Press))

Throughout the federal election campaign of fall 2008, CBC News provided full coverage on several platforms: CBC Television, CBC Newsworld, CBC Radio and CBCNews.ca. Along with contributions from flagship news and current affairs broadcast programs and services, Canada Votes programming took shape with several new initiatives that incorporated new media such as podcasts, blogs and live streaming video and audio. 

Here is a summary of the CBC network programs that contributed to Canada Votes 2008:  

CBC Television and CBC Newsworld  

CBC News: Morning  

Every day during the campaign, host Heather Hiscox and reporter Julie Van Dusen in Ottawa set the scene for the election day that would come. Nil Koksal joined the program with your thoughts and comments on the election from CBCNews.ca in the Your Turn segment. David Taylor provided updates on the rolling poll that was conducted by The Canadian Press and Harris/Decima Research, and Susan Ormiston of Ormiston Online kept up with the latest web trends and stories. With Colleen's Campaign, reporter Colleen Jones found out the human side of election races, like how the grinds of sports and politics mirror one another or the results of an informal poll among Canadian beer drinkers. And Six Degrees of Election Separation profiled Canadians who are political insiders in their own ways, such as longtime Ottawa hairstylist Rinaldo and Toronto clothier Tom Mihalik.

CBC News: Today  

The daytime programs on CBC Newsworld kept the ball rolling with contributions from Julie Van Dusen and Don Newman in Ottawa, as well as frequent updates from CBC reporters as they traveled with party leaders on the campaign trail. In addition, CBC News: Today featured a number of interviews and panel discussions with politicians, party strategists, youth and student vote advocates, environmental group representatives, journalists and community leaders providing outlooks from their respective regions and many more contributors.  

CBC News: Politics  

CBC News Senior Parliamentary Editor Don Newman, host of Politics on CBC Newsworld, provided experienced analysis and anchored a series of lively debates and discussions, featuring federal and provincial politicians past and present, strategists, journalists and a range of other guests from across Canada's political spectrum. And during the election, the Politics Pool gave notable political junkies a chance to make their picks.

Canada Votes: Your Turn   

Canada Votes: Your Turn was CBC Newsworld's daily interactive federal election show and your chance to talk about the election issues that matter to you. The show took your calls live on the air, read your e-mails and brought you into the conversation. Canada Votes: Your Turn, with host Suhana Meharchand, during the 2008 election aired weeknights live on CBC Newsworld.  

CBC News: The National 

The National is the flagship nightly newscast of CBC News, hosted by CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge. The program and its news team were central to the Canada Votes television coverage. Canada Votes election segments and features on The National included:  

  • Your Turn interviews returned, in which Peter Mansbridge put to the federal party leaders the questions Canadians asked of them. NDP Leader Jack Layton, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion and Green party Leader Elizabeth May participated. In addition, Mansbridge conducted a One on One with Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.
  • The At Issue panel of Chantal Hebert of the Toronto Star, Andrew Coyne of Maclean's magazine and Allan Gregg of Harris/Decima Research, was moderated by Mansbridge and featured a variety of guest political commentators from across Canada.
  • On Rex Murphy's Point of View, Murphy turned his incisive focus to an election campaign that turned out to be more interesting than many people predicted.
  • Mark Kelley looked at ridings that weren't being discussed in the campaign in his series Beyond the Battlegrounds.
  • The National's Road Stories series continued to illustrate the current needs of some Canadians.
  • Taxi Chats gave Canadians a chance to talk to federal candidates in a new context.
  • With Ormiston Online, Susan Ormiston opened a window into the web world, increasingly a factor in the political scene.
  • The Insiders, political strategists David Herle and Rick Anderson, revealed the reality behind the press conferences and photo ops in their blogs and weekly television segments.
  • Rick Mercer dropped by with his trademark colourful commentary.
  • Assign Us: We asked and you suggested story ideas. Kelly Crowe led the charge on taking your ideas on what election stories to cover and making them into stories on The National.
  • Along with regular reports and features, Terry Milewski and the Reality Check team uncovered the facts behind the headlines.
  • Your Vote:The National went behind the scenes to show a slice of life from volunteers working on various parties' campaigns.
  • Special coverage: Peter Mansbridge, the At Issue panel and The National's team were key to CBC-TV's coverage on election night Oct. 14 and following the federal party leaders' debates Oct. 1 and 2. More on special coverage below.

CBC News: Sunday  

Hosts and veteran CBC journalists Evan Solomon and Carole MacNeil's newsmagazine approach allowed for a different, often more personal take on the election. Along with interviewing party leaders and moderating election panel discussions, MacNeil and Solomon opened up their program to the first-person stories of everyday Canadians with the segment Politics Is Real To Me.  

Canada Votes: The X Challenge  

In two special broadcast events, Mark Kelley moderated The X Challenge, a 90-minute debate between four representatives of the main national parties on issues related to Canada's economy. The twist? The audience, made of 100 people with different political leanings, gets to vote on who won in real time! On Sept. 30, the focus was the economy, and on Oct. 8, the environment.  

The Mercer Report    

Only the CBC's Rick Mercer can cut through the spin and the clutter of the day's headlines to provide the laughs that in this election were there for the making. Mercer spent time with the federal party leaders, dished out his walk-and-rant streeters and once again kept the politicians in check with his brand of homegrown satire.    

CBC Radio  

World Report  

Host Judy Maddren, CBC Radio's Parliamentary bureau chief Chris Hall and the award-winning CBC Radio News team continued the tradition of providing fresh outlooks on the day's campaign events with reports from party leaders' tours and number of roving reporters, including reporters Mike Hornbrook with his economic whistle-stop stories and Alison Myers with her western Canadian election road trip.

The Current  

Host Anna Maria Tremonti drove The Current's unconventional campaign bus. From new Canadians to satirists to primatologists, The Current brought you cross-Canada election coverage you won't get anywhere else. Federal party leaders sat down for interviews with Tremonti; the Community Confidential panel discussed issues Canadians weren't hearing about in the news; and the Super Committed series profiled some of this country's most involved political citizens, from longtime volunteers to independent candidates and more. And Jesse Brown of the CBC's Search Engine podcast and blog kept an eye on the trends taking shape online in this election.  


With federal arts and culture funding cuts on the line and political sparring coming at Canadians during both the Canadian and U.S. elections of fall 2008, CBC Radio's daily one-stop pop culture shop leapt into action. Host Jian Ghomeshi and an array of provocative and opinionated guests from across Canada made for quite an earful of election entertainment and animated arts debates.    

Sounds Like Canada  

Before SLC called it quits, the show's final host, Kevin Sylvester, checked in with regional CBC Radio hosts from around the country to find out the political climates of those regions in the days that led up to the election.  


Within the show's ongoing search for tech, trends and fresh ideas, host Nora Young mixed together a number of forward-looking concepts during the election campaign. Canadians added items to the Digital Wishlist, contributors contended that countries need Chief Technology Officers and Spark 's audience weighed in on whether they would vote online ... if that were possible.  

The Point  

Host Aamer Haleem and his Point People served up their thoughts on the election, the economy, the happiness of Canadians and why it all might make great — or terrible — Thanksgiving dinner conversation. The Point offered those election-related stories and more.  

The World at Six  

CBC Radio's flagship daily news program once again told strong, colourful election stories, from reporters following party leaders to the Reality Check unit's exploration of campaign promises and the facts that research uncover. Host Bernie MacNamee and a full team of CBC Radio News contributors packed in the sounds, images and words that Canadians heard during this election.  

As It Happens  

As It Happens remained the place to hear the offbeat but never off the mark side of the election experience. From the Election Sound of the Day to engaging political panel discussions with representatives from federal parties to somehow working in the show's penchant for animal stories into the campaign mix, AIH 's recipe for must-hear radio kept listeners tuned in for the best, and often least expected, election stories anywhere from hosts Carol Off and Barbara Budd.  

The House  

With her weekly view from Ottawa, host Kathleen Petty went behind the scenes of the halls of power from which the federal candidates and party leaders were once again attempting to rule. Reports from CBC News' Parliamentary bureau reporters included those on getting out the women's vote or check-ins with provincial finance ministers, while Petty and the team kept things exciting with the Stump The House quiz and other election games to keep voter smarts on the up-and-up.  


Mob Rule, a.k.a. Canada's "political mosh pit," song requests identifying with party leaders and a whole whack of other fun stuff — all this and more featured prominently on Go, CBC Radio's chemical reaction. The weekly show hosted by Brent Bambury dove into the election to mine it for laughs and the little truths so many people avoid discovering.  

Quirks and Quarks  

Science correspondent and Quirks host Bob Macdonald presented the Quirks and Quarks election quiz, which focused on testing what Quirks fans know about the environment and the policies that could change how Canada handles it in the future.  

The World This Weekend  

Host Dave Seglins and the team at The World This Weekend  kept listeners current with the weekend election wrap shows and Sunday night look-aheads to the week of the campaign that then lay ahead. David Taylor was a frequent guest, answering election questions and offering analyses of the rolling poll that was conducted by The Canadian Press and Harris/Decima Research during the campaign.  

The Sunday Edition  

Host and veteran CBC Radio journalist Michael Enright created not just election stories and discussions, but an entire town hall devoted to the intertwined issues of economy and environment. That special program came alongside several federal election-related guest interviews, panel talks and documentaries.  

Cross Country Checkup  

From sitting down with party leaders to asking the hard questions of federal candidates to taking the pulse of Canada's voters, host Rex Murphy once again made space on the important political forum that Checkup has become.  

C'est la vie  

Bernard St. Laurent's show already acts as a window into French-speaking Canada for English-speaking listeners. With the 2008 federal election, C'est la vie became a prime radio destination for the real information on what voters in La Belle Provence might be thinking and feeling about the then upcoming race to power.  

Special Projects and Special CBC News Coverage  

CBC News Special Coverage:   Canada Votes: Election Night  

CBC News broadcasted live federal election coverage on several services: CBC Television, CBC Newsworld, CBC Radio and CBCNews.ca.  

CBC Television and CBC Newsworld  

CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge hosted a special program, examining what was at stake and highlighting what to watch for as the results came in. Joining Mansbridge with lively contributions were cast members of CBC-TV's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Royal Canadian Air Farce, Little Mosque on the Prairie and George Stroumboulopoulos of The Hour. Mansbridge led the most detailed results reporting, putting his vast political knowledge to work to give Canadians comprehensive analysis of the poll results. A running total of the elected and leading candidates for each party appeared continuously across the screen as well as tailored local election results, riding by riding, for the area in which the viewer lives.  

And for the first time, CBC News’ election coverage was broadcast in HDTV on CBC Television live from the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto. Viewers got the best picture yet with a graphic display never before seen in Canada, enabling voters to judge where the country was headed – for a minority or a majority government.  

Joining Mansbridge on the CBC News: Canada Votes election set were chief political correspondent Keith Boag, along with Susan Bonner, Diana Swain and Wendy Mesley. Boag paid special attention to trends, while Bonner, Swain and Mesley reported riding results: Bonner had western Canada and New Brunswick, Swain covered Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island and Mesley reported on Quebec and Nova Scotia. Rex Murphy and Rick Mercer (of The Mercer Report), two of the brightest and wittiest political minds in the country, treated viewers to their observations of the unfolding results and are sure to entertain with their sharp insights. Canada’s most-watched political panel, the At Issue team of Chantal Hébert, Andrew Coyne and Allan Gregg, deciphered the meaning of the results. In addition, campaign insiders David Herle and Rick Anderson shared their insights. Herle ran the last two Liberal campaigns for Paul Martin and Anderson ran Reform campaigns for Preston Manning. Senior parliamentary editor Don Newman of Politics brought his unparalleled skills as a political interviewer to the broadcast. Conservative Senator Hugh Segal, former Liberal MP Sarmite (Sam) Bulte and Sheila White of the NDP joined Newman. The CBC News team reported from communities across Canada: Ian Hanomansing was with Conservative Leader Stephen Harper in Calgary, Mark Kelley was with Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion in Montreal and Evan Solomon was with NDP Leader Jack Layton in Toronto. Nancy Wood reported from Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe’s headquarters in Montreal and Tom Murphy reported from Green party Leader Elizabeth May’s riding headquarters in New Glasgow, N.S. In addition, Susan Ormiston, the web-savvy journalist behind the popular and innovative Ormiston Online, monitored the internet, blogs, chat rooms and Twitter, and invited viewers to comment on what they saw via e-mail and web cams.  

CBC Radio  

Coverage on CBC Radio One was hosted by Michael Enright and Kathleen Petty, along with senior radio political analyst Chris Hall and CBC Radio journalists Bernard St-Laurent, David Taylor, Louise Elliott, Donna McElligott and Susan McNamee. Jesse Brown was CBC Radio One's web watcher, keeping a close eye on how the internet is covering the night. CBC Radio One’s national reporters were on site with the leaders as the outcome of the national vote unfolds, bringing listeners exciting reaction from the party headquarters and constituents.  


CBCNews.ca/CanadaVotes provided all the election results, including up-to-the-minute national and regional tallies, detailed riding-by-riding vote counts and the latest election news and analysis from trusted reporters. Live results were available online the instant the polls closed across the country at 10 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT. CBCNews.ca live-streamed CBC Television and CBC Radio One broadcasts through special direct feeds to the site. CBCNews.ca/CanadaVotes maintained a detailed, interactive map allowing users instant access to up-to-the-minute national and individual riding results and allowed people to make favourites lists of ridings and regions they want to follow. CBC’s 308 Riding Talk discussion spaces gave users ample opportunity to comment and debate the results as they unfolded, either in a national context or in their own constituencies.  Rounding out the election coverage on voting day, CBC’s online team offered a full array of issues, photo galleries and campaign analysis to help the last-minute voter decide, as well as linking to Student Vote 2008, an initiative aimed at developing the core responsibilities of tomorrow's voters.      

Canada Votes: Federal Party Leaders' Debates  

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, front left, responds to a question as, clockwise from left, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, NDP Leader Jack Layton, Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper listen last week during the English-language debate in Ottawa. ((Tom Hanson/Canadian Press))

The CBC broadcasted the federal party leaders' debates live across several networks:

Wednesday, Oct. 1: French language debate

CBC Newsworld carried the debate live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET. CBCNews.ca and Canada Votes also streamed this debate live.  Read the news story here reporting on the debate. You can also watch the recorded debate and make comments here.

Thursday, Oct. 2: English language debate

CBC Television, CBC Newsworld and CBC Radio One carried the debate live from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET. It was also streamed live on CBCNews.ca and Canada VotesRead the news story here reporting on the debate. You can also watch the recorded debate and make comments here.

Special Projects for Canada Votes 2008:  

Ormiston Online  (CBC-TV, CBC Newsworld, CBC Radio, CBCNews.ca)  

CBC News reporter Susan Ormiston was your guide to the election on the web. In partnership with Ryerson University's Infoscape Lab, Ormiston Online monitored, measured and reported on election-related activity across social media websites such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and the entire Canadian political blogosphere. Susan Ormiston appeared on CBC Radio, CBC-TV and CBC Newsworld programs as the Canada Votes "web watcher," as well as in several online-only video reports and other segments. Viewers and online audiences were also invited to send in videos, audio recordings, photos and other contributions.  

Minority Report  (CBC Radio, CBCNews.ca, CBC-TV, CBC Newsworld)  

Your election campaign website with more camp and less pain, brought to you by CBC Radio's Comedy Factory. The site features humourous takes on election events and issues in satirical audio clips, blog posts and in the Talking Portraits video series that aired on The National.  

Search Engine  (CBC Newsworld, CBC Radio, CBC Podcasting, CBCNews.ca)  

Jesse Brown's "not boring" podcast and blog about the Internet contributed to the CBC's coverage of a range of digital technology issues during the election campaign. Jesse Brown also appeared on CBC Radio and CBC Newsworld programs during the campaign as an Internet and new media expert/correspondent.  

Regional programming  

For 2008 election coverage and more from regional CBC-TV and CBC Radio programs, Visit My Region on CBCNews.ca and follow the links to regional websites and the related programs.

Canada Votes: Assign Us

The CBC News assignment desk asked to hear from you during the election campaign. While assignment editors have their own ideas about what makes good election coverage, they also wanted to know your suggestions for stories.

This feature remains in place on CBCNews.ca. To "assign us" and possibly get your story covered by CBC News, click this link and tell us what stories you want covered.