POLITICS

Federal Election 2015: Liberals Squeeze In Mulcair Dig Before NDP Confirms Debate Attendance

08/10/2015 11:29 EDT | Updated 08/10/2015 11:59 EDT

A new social media ad from the Liberal Party goes after NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair's debate attendance.

The Liberal video shows Mulcair telling reporters in February that he is a "big fan" of debates.

Watch the ad below:

"I enjoy the back and forth of a lively debate...and frankly if there was a leaders debate every week of the next election campaign, I'd be there front and centre," he says.

It then shows recent headlines, such as "Tom Mulcair Non-Committal About Globe, Munk Debates" from CBC News, published earlier this month.

The clip, shared on Twitter Sunday, comes one day before the NDP confirms which leaders debates Mulcair will be participating in. The NDP is expected to share those details later today.

"Tom Mulcair says whatever suits him at the time about debates. Wonder what he'll say tomorrow?" the Liberals ask in the ad.

On July 31, the NDP announced its leader would not participate in the broadcast consortium debate if Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper will not be there either. The Tories had already said in May that Harper would not participate in the debate, organized by the CBC, Radio-Canada, Global News, CTV News, and Tele-Quebec.

The move caught many off guard, as opposition parties had used Harper's decision not to attend as political ammo in the lengthy lead-up to the election campaign's official start.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was "devastated" by the decision, according to CBC News.

"It's Conservative-NDP collusion once again to keep the Greens out of the debates and I'm really disappointed," she said.

Mulcair's decision "underscores his intention to deny Canadians their right to hear from leaders about what they would do if elected," the Green Party said in a statement on Saturday.

“Mr. Mulcair has now sent a clear signal to Canadians that he only wants to talk to them on his terms.”

Despite criticism from political opponents, it may be a "smart move" move that benefits the party, according to vice-chairman of Summa Strategies Tim Powers.

"They now want to separate themselves from the other opposition parties," the conservative commentator said in an interview.

"They do want to set themselves up as the party that can replace Stephen Harper and the narrative that Muclair can be prime minister.

"Debating Elizabeth May, Gilles Duceppe, Justin Trudeau without the Prime Minister there diminishes brand offering of the NDP."

We'll update this post once the NDP announces the debates Mulcair will be attending.

With files from Althia Raj

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