Before the debate could even start the audience was already a talking point online. The federal leaders' debate audience is leaving a lot to be desired. The small crowd size is causing a reaction online about the state of politics in Canada.
Having a political debate with an audience can sometimes get tricky usually when it comes to reactions during the actual debate but before the debate got started and before the leaders even got out there, the audience or lack thereof was getting reactions online.
The audience for the October 7 leaders' debate wasn't very full and it actually led the stage manager to go around asking people before the debate started to change seats and move forward so that the front rows would have every seat full.
Lisa LaFlamme, chief anchor and senior editor of CTV National News and one of the debate moderators, said at the beginning of the debate that the audience is made up mostly of undecided voters.
So the thin audience for the debate could either mean that Canadians have already decided who they will be voting for on election day or that Canadians aren't participating in politics.
However, the size of the audience was quickly put front and centre. The pre-debate period was being broadcasted and people could hear and see the stage manager asking audience members to move.
Is it kind of embarrassing that before the airing of the #leadersdebate2019 the stage manager is asking people to… https://t.co/1piKmUvTkc— Goose (@Goose)1570488984.0
People took to Twitter to talk about that particular direction. One person called the shuffling of audience members to fill the front rows "embarrassing" and another saw the stage manager talking to the audience and asked "is this late night TV?"
Is anyone else watching the pre debate with the stage manager talking to the audience?? Is this Late Night tv? #debate #Elections2019— CAVEBOY (@CAVEBOY)1570489076.0
This is why I love #Canada .. not even trying to hide making the debate crowd look full 😂 #leadersdebate2019— Alie Wilde (@Alie Wilde)1570488837.0
Another user said that this whole situation "isn't exactly a glowing review for Canadian political engagement."
The set up of the audience seating has a small group of people facing the leaders and a larger group of people and the majority of the audience is behind the leaders.
Photos and videos from before the debate show empty seats in almost every row even in the front and during the debate you can still spot some empty seats.