Time has changed, in the not too distant past public debate where the highlights of the election process. It was an opportunity to see your favorite candidates going toe to toe and duking it out, each party challenging each other’s platforms. Ah those were the days of intellectual bloodbaths.
Up until recent times the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce used to host public debates, now they host public forums for parties to describe their platforms instead of debating their platforms. The chamber wonders why there doesn’t seem to be much response from the public to attend these forums. Why should the public attend these forums when they can read each parties platforms in the newspapers? It does seem redundant to have a forum that repeats what is published in the media.
It’s a sad state of affairs is when leaders refuse to participate in public debate, whether the debate is hosted by media or other organizations in the community.
In this election they are many serious issues that will have long-term consequences in the province. It appears that except for the Alward government most of the other candidates would like to engage in the issues at hand in a debate.
Alward realizes that it would not be a strategic move for his government to engage in any debates on the issues, such as his government giving the forest to the Irving oligarchy and jeopardizing the health and safety of New Brunswickers to allow the extraction of shale gas. Alward has no rebuttals to counter the arguments from the other parties and independents.
The only thing that the Alward government has to bring to the table are fallacies and illusions. You can’t win debates with make-believe. The consequences of Alward engaging in debates is that the other debaters would slaughter him with facts, Alward’s fiction is no match for the facts.
Alward in his desperation to work on people’s emotions and memories makes references to former premier Shawn Graham attempt to sale NB power, however, Shawn Graham had the balls to inform the public of the deal prior to the election the public which lead to his demise. Alward on the other hand gave away the People’s forest to Irving with little compensation back to the province. An action which is more severe than Shawn Grahams plans to sell NB Hydro to Hydro Quebec, at least the province would have received a revenue from the sale, and In Alward Case the province received nothing from the Irvings.