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The Leadership Debates and Elizabeth May

April 1, 2011

Now as it is election time here in Canada, this big controversy has come up over whether leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, should participate in the upcoming leadership debates.  Furthermore there has been the talk of a separate debate between leaders Michael Ignatieff and Stephen Harper.

Green Party Leader: Elizabeth May

Personally, I am under the belief that Elizabeth May does indeed have the right to participate in the leadership debates on the following grounds:

  • Like May has argued it is undemocratic.  In the 2008 Federal Election, approximately 7% of voters voted in favour of the Green Party.  No she did not win a seat in the House of Commons but it shows that Green issues are indeed Canadian issues.
  • Media Bias.  Both the decisions to exclude May from debates, as well as assuming any one-on-one debates follow should not be the decision of the corporate media to make.  Yes these debates will run on their stations, however these debates are for the people of Canada.  Ideally any of the leaders should be allowed to debate with any of the others, politicians willing, without the interference of any corporate media.  Although Conservatives and Liberals are leading the polls, majority outstanding, they will still be required to work with other parties to pass legislature; however by turning the narrative to Harper vs. Ignatieff they are telling Canadians that these are your only options.

Alternatively as is being argued by the broadcasting consortium, May or the Green Party hold no seats in the House of Commons.  The way I see this is that the Green Party represents the interests of Canadians who view the environment as a serious concern.  They do not expect to lead Canada, nor does May expect to be the Prime Minister, but rather their goal is to show to the Canadian government that Canadians want these issues discussed.

The real question I think here is, what extent should private interests determine the democratic process?  Do the 6.8% of voters deserve to be heard?  Or how about the 83% of respondents to CBC’s poll, ‘should Elizabeth May be included in the leadership debates?’ What I’m curious is whether the consortium will indeed respect the will of the people, or whether private and corporate interests have truly poisoned our democratic process.

Edit: Not an American, but this is what I’m talking about!

Related Links:

Michael Ignatieff’s Challenge to Harper
Last Year’s Election Results
Harper’s ‘democracy’


From → Canada

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