The French-language leaders' debate was originally scheduled for Thursday. However, because the Montreal Canadiens' first playoff game with the Boston Bruins is the same night, the debate was bumped back to Wednesday.
Apparently, that did not finally settle the matter. Once Gilles Duceppe learned that Wednesday night would conflict with the popular television cooking competition Ça va chauffer!, he asked that another date be chosen.
"I know I enjoy watching Ça va chauffer!," said the Bloc Québécois leader. "And I believe many Quebeckers enjoy watching it as well. I'd hate to make them choose between their favourite show and a political debate."
The other party leaders immediately agreed to a postponement.
"I, too, am a big fan of Ça va chauffer!," said Stephen Harper.
"Not as big a fan as I am," said Michael Ignatieff.
"Despite the availability of on-demand programming," said Jack Layton. "I'd prefer to watch it Wednesday night as well."
Initial consideration was given to moving the debate to Friday night, but those plans fell through as well. "I have a dinner date that night," said Mr. Duceppe. "And it would be very rude of me to postpone it with such short notice."
"I have a dinner date, too," said Mr. Harper.
"No dinner date for me," said Mr. Ignatieff. "But that's movie night with my wife."
"It's been a long week," chimed in Mr. Layton. "Why don't we move it to next week?"
To ensure no evening conflicts, the broadcasters' consortium then decided to hold the debate Monday afternoon. Tentative agreement was reached until it was realized that much of Canada, including Quebec, likes to take a nap that time of day.
"I would prefer not to debate before an audience of grumpy, sleep-deprived voters," said Mr. Duceppe.
"I couldn't agree more," said Mr. Harper.
"Frankly, I could use a nap about that time," said Mr. Ignatieff.
"Zzzzzz," said Mr. Layton.
Given that the hockey playoffs aren't scheduled to end until June and the new television season in Quebec is starting soon, it was finally decided to postpone the French-language debate indefinitely. In fact, the leaders agreed that, at least as far as Quebec is concerned, the entire May 2 election could be postponed as well.
"It doesn't really matter that much," said Mr. Duceppe. "We'll get our 55 seats whether Quebeckers vote in May or December."