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Are Canadians watching the debates or are the debates watching Canadians?

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canadianglen

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Much has been made this election cycle about the debates of party leaders that have become standard fare for television audiences. Love them or loathe them, they are hard to escape. Brian Mulroney telling John Turner that "You did have a choice, sir" became the template for a debate knockout blow in Canada. Even so, up until this year the "Consortium Debates" were seen as compulsory.

But the CPC campaign inner circle sought to break this mold. Based on the premise that the "leftist media" networks were holding too much control, outside facilitators were sought and encouraged. And they appeared. Rogers Media. Munk School of Global Affairs. Glode & Mail. Once again, political parties created a problem, came up with over 9000 solutions, and nobody is happier than before this began. Except for maybe the CPC.

Perhaps the networks weren't willing or capable of going the new direction that some seem to want. That direction is watching you watch the debates. Nothing is more precious to political parties in an election than "data". More accurately, "positive data". The question has always been is it accurate. Analytics is an ever expanding industry with methods from scientific to semantic. The accuracy of their data depends on the degree of science employed and the transparency of method and researchers.

Amy MacPherson has long been documenting and reporting on the penchant of watching social media by the CPC. Mass surveillance techniques that use a shotgun for a fly. Have you used the hashtags #cdnpoli, #elxn42, #macdebate ? Your opinion is labeling you, fairly or not, to the analytic industry that operates in the shadows. Methods, procedures and clients seem to be rather "secret". Amy tells us where we are headed, for better or worse.

Join us! Know the rules if you play the game!

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