Here we go again: -

Here we go again:

Conservatives, NDP mum on whether to allow Elizabeth May into the debates


Deprived, at least for the moment, of a fall election, political junkies can at least distract themselves debating whether Elizabeth May and the Greens have earned a permanent spot at the lectern during future leaders’ debates. The Hill Times reports the Liberals and Bloc Quebecois still support Ms. May’s inclusion, but judging from their respective non-responses to the question, the Conservatives and the New Democrats seem distinctly underwhelmed by the prospect. The NDP’s Brad Lavigne “declined to offer any position,” preferring instead to trot out the party’s now familiar talking point about making parliament work. The Conservatives, meanwhile, simply refused to be interviewed at all. Meanwhile, Ms. May continues to make her case, pointing out that the Greens are “the favourite choice of one in 10 voters,” and as such, her exclusion would be “simply untenable.”

The Hill Times

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Here we go again:

  1. She should be there. Just like trying to get the Bloc out of the English debates, May not being included will lead to less discourse, not more. Definitely not what we need right now. More discourse and a wider range of topics discussed can only lead to more voter participation. Ten percent of the vote, that's over 3 million Canadians. How many watch the debates at present?

  2. Actually they won the support of 6.8% of voters in the last election, so that's closer to one in fifteen… Not that accuracy changes much in the way of the argument all that much, but still.

  3. Why not let every party that has candidates running in the federal election participate in the debates? They are already a farce.

    I'd like to hear what the Rhino Party leader has to say. Doesn't he have as many seats as the Greens?

  4. Elizabeth May should certainly be in the debates. They are the only federal party that is not included. They receive tax dollars and are on every ballot in the country. If the Bloc is there despite only speaking to their one-province voters, should the Greens not also be there as they are speaking to every riding in the country.

    Besides, she made last year's debates digestible, raised the bar of intellect, and spoke to real points otherwise hidden by the agendas of others. Included until proven otherwise, I say.

    • I'd argue most of your second paragraph, but fully agree with the first one. To me, the criteria of having candidates in parliament is not nearly as important as running enough candidates to theoretically attain a majority. The former may or may not exist in future (witness PCs after Mulrooney) the latter is certainly competing to direct the entire country, and so the people of the country should be able to hear what they bring to the table.

  5. This is nothing more than a complaint looking for a problem. May was in the last debate so there's no reason to think she won't be in the next one.

  6. I suggest that Layton is opposed to May being in the debate because he stands to lose credibility with the traditional NDP voters when contrasted with May. Harper isn't interested in having here there as she will hold his feet to the fire for the lack of action on climate change AND he realizes that when voters see her on TV, they will realize the Green Party has policies on a wide range of subjects, not just environment. He would have us believe May is a kooky tree-hugger and nothing more — which couldn't be farther from the truth.

    • I suggest that you Green voters are simply pulling a little stunt to generate attention.

  7. The Leaders debate is about the only time the Green Party gets media attention during an election .The media's total disinterest in the Green Party and it's policies , helps perpetuate the myth that the Greens are a one issue fringe party, instead of the one party committed to fiscal and environmental conservativism , The Greens are unique, but not a fringe.

  8. I don't think she should be there. She was there last time, and the Green Party didn't even win one seat. I believe you have to earn your way into the Federal Debates. Get one seat in an election, and the next election you can go into the debates. I want to hear from the leaders whom actually have a chance at winning seats, not wasting time on listening to a party platform that hasn't even won a single seat.

    • The Greens not winning a seat is as much the fault of our system as it is their election chances. With 6.8% of the vote, they've got about two thirds the support of the Bloc, but 50 less seats. It's a cycle – you don't get exposure if you don't have seats, you don't get seats if you don't have exposure. Something's got to break, and if the only thing that does it is the leadership debates, so be it.

      The Greens have more than enough support across Canada to win a seat, it's just dispersed. It's a funny thing – we complain non-stop about regionalized political groups on the national scene, but also seem to be marginalizing up-and-coming parties who are truly national parties.

      • The Green Party had commercials in the last campaign. That is exposure. The debates are for parties currently in Parliament. They want to be in the Federal debate? Run ads, have rallies, run for seats in parliament. If they do all that, and can't win one seat, then don't waste our time talking to us in the debate as Canadians clearly don't want them in Parliament.

  9. Until the Green Party wins a seat in Parliament they are just a fringe party. If you let her in, you have to include the Communists and every other fringe party in to the debate.

  10. I don't mind the Green's being in A debate but I would also like to see a debate that just had the top two (or maybe 3) parties. The Greens and Bloc just provide more background chatter which distract from the only debate that matters. These fringe parties have policies and issues worth discussing so they should have their day in the spotlight but really the choice comes down to one of two people for PM. I want to see the only two people who have a hope of forming government go head to head – that would be a debate to watch.

  11. The real issue is why should Layton (or even Harper) have any say? For example, it would be great if Macleans simply decided it was going to run a debate. Let Coyne and Wells have a cage match to decide the format, produce some life size cutouts to use as props for those missing and on with the show.

  12. sorry, if they have no seats they shouldn't be in…i also wish we wouldn't have to listen to the bloc since they don't run in most of the country

  13. Go away Ms. May – we are already sick of you. Let's hop into another riding when you lose this one as well. Talk about Jumpin' Liz Flash". It is always easy to debate and argue with elected politicians when the chances of you being elected are nil and you never have to prove anything to anyone just a bunch of indignant comments. Furthermore you stabbed a fellow Green in the back who has been working in the riding for years to take his nomination away. Ask Ms. May about that one. No we are not the least bit interested in your diatribe – been there, done that, got the Green T-Shirt.

    • As for the other candidate in the nomination race, he doesn't even live in the riding! Talk about a parachute. At least Ms. May has made the commitment by moving to the riding! And the support for the alternative candidate, I don't think that there was alot of support for him, not at least from people wo would come to the meeting and vote.

      Greens should be at the table. The issues are too important to us, our children, grandchildren and the earth. Sweeping the Greens under the debate table will never get those important issues dealt with. Harper has a dismal record on working on the environment, he proved his dedication by not even showing up at the UN Climate talks last week. Couple this with the fact the the Greens have a solid policy platform on ALL issues means that Green is not fringe, it is a viable alternative.

      Think about it…. right now… it means EVERYTHING!