Wednesday, September 10, 2008

May to participate in leaders debates

She's in:

Green Leader Elizabeth May will get a chance to debate her fellow party leaders after all.

The broadcasters consortium has invited Ms. May to the Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 debates, and received assurances from the other four party leaders that they will attend if Ms. May is invited, spokesman Jason MacDonald confirmed to The Globe and Mail.

The broadcasters made the change after Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Jack Layton both backed down from their opposition to Ms. May's involvement.

Ms. May shouted with joy in her New Glasgow, N.S. campaign office as she watched a television report that the Conservatives had backed down from their threat to boycott the debates if the Green leader was invited.

The Conservative announcement came just minutes after NDP leader Jack Layton came to the same decision.

This is a good development, and it probably won't seriously hurt the NDP either. If May performs well, she'll likely pull votes from across the spectrum, (and perhaps some who wouldn't otherwise have voted), and if she performs badly, she might drive some people who'd parked their votes with the Greens to the NDP (since their core supporters, historically, have tended to be left wing). Not to mention, it will make the debate a lot more interesting.

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