Nova Scotia

Debate tone, format falls flat for Halifax students

Some university students who watched the federal leaders' debate at a viewing party held at the Halifax Central Library Monday say they did not like the tone of the debate or the format.

'It was a lot of jeering and talking over each other and I didn't appreciate that,' says one student

Many of those who watched the federal leaders' debate at a viewing party in Halifax's Central Library found it frustrating and unhelpful. (Pam Berman/CBC)

Some university students who watched the federal leaders' debate at a viewing party held at the Halifax Central Library say they did not like the tone of the debate or the format.

Leaders representing six of the major parties participated in Monday night's debate in Gatineau, Que.: Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and People's Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier.

The only English debate with all six party leaders saw the discussion range across five topics including: affordability and economic insecurity, environment and energy, Indigenous issues, leadership in Canada and on the world stage and polarization around human rights and immigration.

"It was a lot of jeering and talking over each other and I didn't appreciate that," said Olivia Faye, a University of King's College student from Manitoba.

"I feel like they went far off topic," complained Areh Majithia. " I wished they answered the actual questions they were asked."

"Nobody seemed to have enough time to actually give their full option," said Isabelle Reynolds.

Bernier's 'presence was upsetting'

A number of the students were also concerned about the participation of Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People's Party of Canada.

"His presence was upsetting," said Robbie Dryer. "His party is polling at one per cent and I think it sets an unpleasant precedent."

While a number of participants indicated they were voting for the Green Party, others remain undecided.

"I did hear a lot about climate change but I'm still not hearing bold solutions that I want to see," said Sarah Trower.

"Honestly I don't think that helped me decide who I am going to vote for at all," said Lillian Barrett, who is originally from Ontario but attends the University of King's College.

University students have the option of voting in either their school ridings or home ridings.

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