The Bloc breaks ranks

This is interesting. In justifying its decision to shut the Greens out of the debates, The Consortium (bwahahahaha) claimed that “three parties were opposed.” That would be the Conservatives, the NDP, and the Bloc Quebecois. But now here’s a release from the Bloc, claiming

Contrairement à ce qui a été véhiculé dans certains médias, jamais le représentant du Bloc Québécois auprès du consortium des médias … n’a mentionné ou même laissé entendre que la présence de la chef du Parti vert pouvait remettre en cause la présence du chef du Bloc Québécois aux débats des chefs. Mentionnant que le Bloc Québécois préférait que les débats se déroulent entre les chefs des quatre partis présent à la Chambre des communes, Stéphane Gobeil, le représentant du Bloc Québécois a explicitement affirmé que le chef du Bloc Québécois allait participer aux débats, avec ou sans la présence de la chef du Parti vert.

So they said they preferred that the debate take place among the four old-line party leaders,  but they never said they wouldn’t show up if Elizabeth May was included.

I have a feeling this is backfiring badly on all concerned. Have a look at the CBC story on this sordid business: there are more than 750 nearly 2000 comments attached. (This Globe story: 590-plus.) A firestorm, in other words. I wonder who will be the next member of the Gang of Three to buckle.

MORE: What’s particularly galling is that every one of the players who made this entirely self-interested decision are funded in whole or in part on the public dime: the political parties, the CBC and Radio-Canada, but also Global, CTV and TVA, who make off with massive implicit and explicit subsidies. They’re conspiring against the public interest, on the public’s dime!

MORER: So as things stand, if you did hold a Greens-included debate, you’d pull Elizabeth May, Stephane Dion, and Gilles Duceppe. If Jack Layton could be prevailed upon to come, then the only remaining holdout would be Stephen Harper. (I know he’s nervy, but could he really duck the debate?)

What about it, Jack? Or does your membership in the emerging NDP-Conservative axis — same regulation-heavy environmental policy, same disturbing fixation on the leader, same interest in dishing the Grits — preclude it? I know it’s hard to back down when you’re busy telling everyone what a strong leader you are, but turn it into a selling point. Jack Layton: strong enough to change his mind. Weak is the new strong.

Ask yourself: what would Obama do?

MOREST: DemocraticSpace has a round-up of blog reaction. Favourite post title: Elizabeth May Scares 3 Out of 4 Party Leaders.

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