Why else these bullying tactics to keep the leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, from the televised election debates? I am no particular fan of the Greens ... although I have voted for them once or twice on occasion (more as a vote against the others), the chances of my voting for them in this election are slim (as in slim to none). But that is not the point.
The point is that this suppose to be a democracy. And if the leader of a separatist party for whom only those resident in Quebec can choose to vote is part of the national televised debates, then why not the leader of a national party, fielding candidates in 306 of a possible 308 ridings, whose ranking in the polls has been steadily increasing? Who now has it's first sitting member of Parliament?
Although the network consortium stated that " ... three parties opposed [the Green party's] inclusion and it became clear that if the Green party were included, there would be no leaders debates", it is only Harper who has come out clearly against May's inclusion and stated that the Conservatives would not participate if she was included; neither the Liberals nor the Bloc have threatened to pull out if the Green party is included in the debate. Which leaves the NDP ~ who apparently have been unable to decide whether or not they would boycott the event. Which, although it pains me to admit, doesn't really surprise me.
So let's field test a few propositions here.
- The fact that Stephane Dion agreed not to field a candidate against May in her riding (actually a relatively common practice) may have put Harper's nose out of joint a notch or two, but does not make the Greens the Liberals' candidates or proxies in this election.
- In fact, if anything, May and the Green party could actually hurt the Liberals, it being suggested that they might split the anti-Harper votes into even smaller fragments due to the environmental issues.
- If it's the current situation that actually presents a legitimate concern for Harper, I wonder why he (and the rest of them, including the Liberals) have consistently opposed the inclusion of the Green party in all previous debates.
And, by the by, does anyone actually believe for one moment that any one of the parties would dare not participate in the debate if it were to go ahead with the others?
May has threatened to take this issue to the Federal Court. Good for her.