Too green for primetime

So, the networks have decided, after certain unnamed political parties threatened to boycott a televised leadership debate that included Elizabeth May, that “it is better to broadcast the debates with the four major party leaders, rather than not at all.” I have a feeling May will have no problem finding a pulpit to preach from, if not a podium with the other talking heads. After watching only a few hours of campaign coverage two things are obvious: Elizabeth May is good television, and the networks know it. If no amount of bellyaching or lawsuit threats is sufficient to secure her time in the leadership debate spotlight, she will no doubt benefit from one-on-one interviews with the Peter Robertson’s and Don Duffy’s of Canadian Broadcasting.

Is the decision of the networks fair? I really haven’t thought about it, yet. Let me tell you what I have thought about. The Green Party has little to add to a national election forum than the infectious passion of May herself. The Green Party remains largely a one issue party and the environment is currently well represented by the NDP- long acknowledged by environmentalists as the greenest of the contenders, and the Liberal Party- after years of pretending the green shift is the real deal.

Harper has apparently suggested he suspects May will withdraw and back the Liberals. What is more likely is that she pulls a CAW and encourages supporters to vote for whoever is best suited to defeating the local Conservative candidate. Before she falls on her sword, how many Green supporters will she convince that their vote can not be trusted in the hands of a traditional party? Green Voters, please remember that passion is not a substitute for policy! This country needs more than a 21st century environmental policy. There are ideological homes for you here, or here!




  1. Manatee said,

    Monday, 8 September 2008 at 7:55 pm

    For what it’s worth, I believe I’ve been convinced the Green exclusion is unfair thanks to The Gauntlet.

    However, I am not convinced that a popular or prominent Green Party is best for Canada. I guess this is obvious, since I will not be voting for them. Since I am hopelessly undemocratic I will not be following Jason’s advice and turning my text green, even if I knew how to make such a technological wonder occur.

  2. Gnomes said,

    Monday, 8 September 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Scooped again!

    It is ridiculous that our electoral system failed to reward a party garnering 660 000 votes last election with a single MP, all the more ridiculous to use that injustice as an excuse to exclude them from full participation this time around.

  3. O'Smiley said,

    Wednesday, 10 September 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Lets not forget that every party, INCLUDING THE NDP, said that they would boycott the debates if May was allowed to participate.

  4. Manatee said,

    Wednesday, 10 September 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Let’s not forget that the Liberals said they would boycott if Harper was not there. They did not oppose May being included.

  5. O'Smiley said,

    Thursday, 11 September 2008 at 10:41 am

    Manatee – is that any better?

  6. Gnomes said,

    Thursday, 11 September 2008 at 4:42 pm

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the only way to look good when commenting on debates is to say that, because the people have a right to a debate, a) you will participate regardless of anyone else’s boycott, and b) the debates should tend to be inclusive rather than exclusive. I don’t think any party but the Greens managed to pass this rather simple test, and all lost an easy oporunity to make themselves look reasonable, magnanimous and fair.

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