Monsieur Dusseault, that is a very good question. The entity that had sponsored the debates in the three cycles before the commission was created was the League of Women Voters, which is also a not-for-profit. The league does lobbying and represents issues, and that gets into the realm of what candidates have to say on those issues.
The commission was seen as a way to strip away any other activity, but the task that you ask about was difficult. It was not without a great deal of effort on our part to try to explain who we were and who we weren't, and to say that we were going to try very hard to gain the trust of the broadcasters, the campaigns, and the public to put debates on that would be seen as absolutely neutral and absolutely fair.
The League of Women Voters was understandably not happy to see a competitor enter the playing field, and one thing we wanted to do was to be extremely respectful of the groundbreaking role they had played. I am happy to say that the co-chair of the commission's board right now is Dorothy Ridings, who used to be head of the League of Women Voters.
It is a task that there is no manual for. If you are going to create a new entity like this, which is playing a huge, visible, and important role in a national election, you basically need to think very carefully about what the public face of that organization is going to be and how it is going to explain what it is doing.
I would argue one of the handicaps we had to overcome was our name. It sounds as though the commission is a part of the federal government. We are not, which is a good thing, but the answer is, it is difficult.
One thing I would like to say is that depending on how you go forward, please consider the CPD at the disposal of your committee and your colleagues. If there is ever any way in which we can save you some of the aspirin we've had to take over the years, we would be honoured to.