Personally, I’m not going to get all riled up that Elizabeth May isn’t going to be in the televised leaders debates for the federal election. On a very basic level, it makes sense … no seat in the House of Commons, no seat at the table for the debate.
Yes, the Greens got 6.8 per cent of the national vote last election, but they didn’t win a seat. Not even close. And let’s be honest … they’re a one issue party. And not having May at the table will actually improve the quality of the debate. A five-headed monster does not a good debate make.
But the consortium of TV networks that set the rules for the debates could have done the Canadian voter a huge favor — and included the Greens — by insisting that only NATIONAL parties would be invited to the English debate.
Gilles Duceppe, the oily leader of the separatist Bloc Quebecois, has a seat at the debate table based on the sad fact they the BQ has seats in the House of Commons. He shouldn’t be there. I can’t vote for his party, so his party policies are of absolutely no interest to me as a voter. It’s disturbing — but so typically Canadian — that the Bloc gets millions of dollars from Canadian taxpayers to run the campaign of party that is dedicated to the destruction of Canada. Using taxpayer money to run the majority of their campaigns, they have bought a seat at the electoral table. Trouble is, they bring nothing to it.
What the broadcasters could have done, but didn’t have the guts to do, was to create a formula for participation in the debate. One element could have been that the party must have run a candidate in, say, 75 per cent of ridings across Canada, or in at least eight of 10 provinces, or a combination of both. That would have eliminated the Bloc from the English debate. The Bloc could participate in the French debate, since that’s the only province where anything they say carries any weight.
But of course, this being Canada, nobody has the guts to stand up the BQ and tell them they’re not invited. Can’t hurt anyone’s feelings now, can we? So now we’ll have to listen to Duceppe, whose party we can’t vote for, instead of May, whose party we can vote for.
Only in Canada. Pity.