rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Leaving Elizabeth May Out of the Debates is Outrageous

The quality of Canadian democracy took it on the chin yesterday when the Conservatives, the NDP and the Bloc took the position that the leader of the Green Party should be excluded from the TV debates.

A Bloc spokesperson later said Duceppe would have participated in the debates whether or not May was included. That left Harper and Layton insisting that they would not show up for debates in which the Green leader was present.

That Harper would do this is no surprise. He hopes that after October 14, he won't have to pay attention to anyone.

But the NDP.

NDP campaign official Brad Lavigne explained that Layton would withdraw from debates including May on the grounds "that it would be patently unfair to have two people advocating for Mr. Dion to be prime minister in the debate."

Huh?

Lavigne is entitled to think that the Greens are too close to the Liberals. I'm entitled to believe, as I do, that the Greens are a sentiment in search of a party. But the fact is that a sizeable number of Canadians voted for the Greens last time. They are a federally funded party. They now have an MP, a former Liberal, who joined them. People can think what they like about this MP. But let's shake ourselves awake. The Greens are awfully similar, in size and shape, to the Bloc and the Reform Party when they were included in the debates in 1993.

Jack Layton should be prepared to face Elizabeth May head on in the debates where he can make the case that a vote for the Greens is a vote for a party that is unclear on a host of issues, and not all that good on the environment. He could use the debates to say that this country desperately needs proportional representation.

This week at York, I'm going to get an earful about this from my students. They're not old enough to remember the glory days of Tommy Douglas when the NDP was a fighting party. They're already inclined to see the NDP as an old-line party and this is not going to help.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.