News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Thursday, September 11, 2008

May-be a Green can of worms

So Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May will be included in the televised leaders debates after all. I think that it was the wrong decision. We are talking about a party that polled less than 5% of the vote at the last election, which has never won a seat in parliament and isn't likely to win a seat this time around either.

The fact that May is a cheer-leader for the Liberals, having signed an electoral pact not to compete with each other in the respective leaders' seats is an objection which shouldn't even need to come into the equation.

Lets be quite straight forward. There are only two men who have any chance whatsoever of being Prime Minister after 14th October; Stephen Harper and Stephane Dion. I think I would prefer a straight debate between the two, since that's the realistic option Canadians face. That said, Jack Layton and Gilles Deceppe, as leaders of the NDP and BQ could find themselves holding the balance of power, so there's a case for including them in some way. Elizabeth May, on the other hand, will not have any more say in who is the next PM than any other Canadian citizen. So she should be treated the same as any other Canadian citizen and told to watch the debate on her television at home!

My greatest concern is the long term implication of the decision. How many parties might we see meeting the criteria in future years? Could an extremist organisation meet the grade and gain a slot? In a democracy they could hardly be refused the same rights as the Greens. Maybe some enterprising business will see marketing potential in fielding enough candidates to get a spokesman on national TV during these dabates. The whole electoral process could, at its worst, descend into farce as dozens of fuitcakes take centre stage alongside the Prime Minister and genuine Opposition Leaders.


noamzs said...

First of all, the electoral process is already a farce, so let us stop pretending that it is something sacred. Second of all, the fact that May should be included in the debate is proven by the public outcry over her exclusion. The people obviously want her in, and since this is a democracy... well I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions.

Dan Hassett said...

In a democracy, I'm as entitled to my view as you are. I've made reasoned arguments as to why I don't think the decision was right. I hope that some people will read it and come to the same opinion as me.

Just because a small number of vocal people say that May should be included in the debates, it doesn't mean that those of us who disagree should keep quiet. If democracy worked like that, the Green Party should accept that in the last election they scored less than 5% of the vote and never seek election again. Instead, what they will do is come back and try to convince people to change their minds. I wouldn't expect any less, and you shouldn't either.