Making politics really count for Canadians

The debate battle already has been won.
Canadians have spoken. Given a choice of playoff hockey or talking politicians, fans scored a lopsided victory over the May 2 federal election earlier this week.
Canadians take hockey seriously, and when the Bloc Quebecois realized that their leader was going up against “Les Canadiens,” led by Brian Gionta, in a battle against an Original Six rival in the Boston Bruins, Gilles Duceppe petitioned the three other leaders to agree to a change in date for the televised leaders’ debate in French.
The networks that were hosting the French debate, realizing their scheduling faux pas, almost instantly found time one day earlier than originally scheduled. A new “Miracle on Ice” show may be in the making.
Only in Canada would a sporting event take precedence over a political debate.
Canadians and television networks might be fascinated by the political nation-building in Egypt and Tunisia, but when it comes home, they really couldn’t care less. Hockey triumphs.
Instead of debating, we should invite all the parties to raise a five-member team for a shinny contest and call it the “Battle for the Eyes.” Even the “Green Party” would ice a team.
I would expect Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff to name Ken Dryden as team captain. Stephen Harper, meanwhile, probably would make college player Jim Flaherty the captain of the Conservatives.
Jack Layton probably would insist that the New Democrats be peacekeepers—and would want no physical contact.
The only eligible players would have to be nominated members running in this election. Ringers would not be permitted. As such, Gilles Duceppe’s team would be at a disadvantage since that party only could pick from 75 potential players.
The other parties each could potentially pick from 308 potential players.
The “Battle for the Eyes” would begin as a five-team round-robin affair, and the two teams with the best record would face off in the championship. Each game would last 20 minutes and consist of two periods to allow the blow hards time to catch their breath.
In the event of a tie at the end of the round-robin, the two teams would go into a “Shout Out”—a form of entertainment taken from Question Period.
Each team would be lined up at both ends of the rink. Working through both teams, the member with the loudest roar measured digitally in the rink would break the tie.
Round-robin play would take place over five-consecutive nights. The final then would occur following the ‘B’ final between the third- and fourth-place teams.
Because the possibility of a minority being created, each of the final two teams could invite a single player from the other three teams to join them for the final.
The winner of the “Battle for the Eyes” would be named “Canada’s team.”
But the real winners would be Canadian voters. They truly could watch their politicians in action in an arena that really counted. And the only lies that will be told to Canadians will be able to be verified by watching the game footage.
Canadian politics finally would make it into the real world that matters to the Canadian electorate.

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