Many in the crowd at Wednesday night's Conservative Party leadership debate in Edmonton told Rebel News they wanted to hear more about freedom and rights from the six candidates — Leslyn Lewis, Scott Aitchison, Pierre Poilievre, Patrick Brown, Jean Charest and Roman Baber.
Instead, the attendees, at 50 bucks a pop, bore witness to an unusual slate of questions about books, music and fantasy dinner guests and a strange format that penalized campaigns for crowd engagement and rarely allowed candidates to interact.
Curious Conservative voters had mixed reviews for debate moderator Tom Clark, a former mainstream media journalist turned lobbyist who asked candidates the tough stuff like “what was the last show you binge watched on Netflix?”
Some people welcomed the change of pace and found the odd softball questions humanizing; others found them to be a ridiculous and superficial waste of time. This reporter was in the latter category, with Pierre Poilievre's uncle, who told me the debate structure was “weird.”
Clark was booed at certain points, including when he referred to the Freedom Convoy as an “occupation.” Other questions elicited groans.
Rebel News journalists, through hustle and hard work, were able to pose six real questions to the candidates, none of which were about favourite colours or the best flavour of chips or who they think will win the Stanley Cup this year.
We asked about carbon taxes, Israeli embassies, firearms rights, a Chinese state-affiliated telecom, foreign-funded radicals attacking the oil patch and the free press.
To support our independent journalism from the Conservative Party leadership campaign, please visit www.LeadershipReports.ca.