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Political Science Research Guide: Debates

Provides and introduction to key resources used when looking for research materials in the field of Political Science

What are Debates?

Debates refer to official transcripts of discussions that take place within Parliament, a Provincial Legislature or the U.S. Congress.  Official transcripts of the Canadian Debates are provided by Hansard - the Official Record Keeper of all discussions in Elected Houses in Canada.  The online record of these transcripts tend to be more current.  For older transcripts see the library's Government Documents Collection.

In the United States, official Transcripts are provided by Congressional Record. 

Aside from Parliamentary Debates, there are also official videos of Leadership Debates that have taken place on television. These recordings are also primary sources that reflect what was actually said.

Parliamentary and Legislature Debates



United States

  • Congressional Record 1994-Present
    Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session. GPO Access contains Congressional Record volumes from 140 (1994) to the present. At the back of each daily issue is the "Daily Digest," which summarizes the day's floor and committee activities.
  • Annals of Congress, Register of Debates, Congressional Globe and Congressional Record
    Taken from the Library of Congress: A Century of Lawmaking, this collection includes a number of registers that list debates held in the U.S. Congress from Independence to Present time.  Each can be located on the Right hand side of the Century of Lawmaking Main Page.  They are listed under Debates of Congress.
  • Journals of Congress
    Also part of the Century of Lawmaking Collection these Journals consists of a record of Congressional Proceedings. Included are the House of Representatives Journal, Senate Journal, the Senate Executive Journal and Maclay's Journal.  All are listed under Journals of Congress.

  Leadership Debates


  •  CBC Archives
    CBC Archives contain a rich array of historical political events including videos of Leaders Debates during Elections. The archives are searchable and browseable. 

United States of American


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Carmen Kazakoff-Lane
Carmen Kazakoff -Lane, Scholarly Communications Librarian
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