Echoes of “here we go again” bounced around the Capital Region when residents heard they’d be facing a third federal election in seven years this May.
The same could almost be said for Green Party leader and Saanich-Gulf Islands candidate Elizabeth May, who once again is looking to the courts to allow her entry into the televised leaders’ debate.
Taking a group of national broadcasters to court in 2008 over their decision to exclude her from televised debates was a tack that eventually, along with public outcry, prompted the consortium to back down and let her participate.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Greens are taking the same tack again. The other leaders have no problem with May taking part, but the broadcasters maintain her party doesn’t deserve representation in the debates having never elected an MP.
Roughly three million people watched the debates in 2008. We guess May is already receiving far more media coverage from being declared persona non grata by the broadcast media than any benefit she might gain by joining fellow leaders at the table again. In 2008, the debates often descended into an adult equivalent of a squabble over stolen lunch money.
Even the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times’ online edition, which posted a story Sunday about Canada struggling to find a format for its leaders’ debate, placed May’s quest to be included near the top of the story.
No harm can be done by allowing May into the televised debate. Given that her party drew almost a million votes nationwide last time, 68 per cent of that attained by the Bloc Quebecois – its leader, Gilles Duceppe was an automatic on the debate list – it’s the least the broadcasters can do to show they believe in truly national democracy.
Our fear is May will gain more credibility in voters’ minds for raising a fuss again for not being included, than for what her party stands for.
– Victoria News