January 18, 2013


McMaster expert on political campaigns available for comment on federal Liberal debate


Hamilton, Ont. January 18, 2013As federal Liberal candidates prepare for their first of five debates Sunday, an expert with experience advising politicians is available to analyze the event and the campaign.


Alex Sevigny, director of the Master of Communications Management program at McMaster, is also a veteran political advisor who has worked in executive roles for several Liberal campaigns at the federal and provincial levels with such politicians as Gerard Kennedy, Ted McMeekin and Judy Marsales.


Sevigny says the first federal Liberal leadership debate will be about differentiation and positioning. The presumptive front runners, Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau, will be aiming to maintain their positions by establishing thought leadership while the other candidates will be trying to prove they are more credible than the frontrunners.


At the same time, they will be working to distinguish their party from its rivals.


"This debate will start to shape the Liberals’ new face in terms of the Party's policy agenda and its substantive positioning on the issues vis-à-vis the Conservatives, Greens and NDP. Will the Liberals begin to sound different enough from their competitors?"


Sevigny says it will be just as important to watch the debate as it is to listen to it.


"Since there are so many participants in the debate, there will be a lot of focus on what is happening when the candidates are not speaking or engaging one another. Viewers will pay a lot of attention to poise and demeanor -- non-verbal communication --  as well as verbal communication."


Alex Sevigny (who is bilingual) is available at at 905 525-9140, ext. 27661, 289-339-8325 or sevigny@mcmaster.ca .




For more information contact:


Wade Hemsworth

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 27988



Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager

McMaster University

905-525-9140, ext. 22869