Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Elizabeth May shut out of TV debates

I wondered if this was going to happen:
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is once again getting shut out of the televised debates, but she is already rallying her troops for a fight and finding some unlikely allies.
From the Star. Interesting to see who some of these allies are:

New Democrat Leader Jack Layton — who had threatened to boycott if she took part last time — expressed dissatisfaction with the way the decision was made.

“If certain leaders are not invited to participate, I think it is reasonable for them to know why,” Layton said in a statement.

“We’re fine with her in the debate,” he added.

***

Bryon Wilfert, the Liberal incumbent for Richmond Hill and a close confidant of Dion, denounced the decision, although made it clear he was not speaking on behalf of his party.

“I think the networks are wrong,” said Wilfert, who considers May a friend and thought she contributed much to the debate last time.

It's very much to Layton's credit (and Wilfert's, but then he wouldn't have to face her in the debate) to take this stance, especially since he initially opposed her inclusion in the previous debate. The fact is, she did contribute a lot to the debate last time. Now technically, she was on much stronger ground in 2008, thanks to Blair Wilson's having crossed the floor to join her party. Technically, of course, the networks would be consistent with their previous policy if they didn't let her in, since the Greens no longer have a sitting MP, but surely having participated previously should count for something, no? It's worth remembering that the PCs came within two seats of being eliminated in 1993, and it's a safe bet that if Jean Charest and Elsie Wayne hadn't managed to cling to their seats, the PCs would still have been allowed into the debate in 1997.

1 comment:

Fat Arse said...

Harpo & Co. want no part of May in the debates because she scared them last time - unwilling to accept his bafflegab as offered she pressed for real answers... son=mthing they are loathe to give. Further, her presence would detract from the faux "coalition" characterization he will try to pin on the other leaders during the debate.