We need democratic debates

I am furious that the secretive Broadcast Consortium has again left Elizabeth May without an invitation to the televised leaders’ debates, despite the fact that she arguably represents the views of at least a million electors.

The representatives of CBC, Radio-Canada, CTV, Global, and TVA, have no right to decide that the Green Party is second class. This is insulting to supporters of the only party that had growth in the number of votes earned between the federal elections of 2006 and 2008. The Green Party runs candidates across the country, and currently polls regularly at 10% of the projected vote. To rationalise this ridiculous decision by saying that Greens do not have any seats in the house simply ignores the failings of our electoral system. If we had full proportional representation, the Green Party would have dozens of seats in the House of Commons. How is the party to gain seats without a fair opportunity to reach out to voters? It’s like a server at a restaurant refusing to bring you any food because you are not already eating.

Not all hope is lost on this issue. Remember that in 2008 the consortium made the same foolish decision. After other federal party leaders were forced by public outcry to admit the unfairness of the situation, the decision was reversed. In the period between, the GPC raised $100,000 per day, and dominated the news coverage. If the other party leaders want to prevent such fundraising, and want to get a word in edgewise for their policy announcements, they would be wise to insist on May’s inclusion very soon.

If you are an elector, of any degree or direction of partisanship, who is also upset by this undemocratic situation, please get involved. Tweet, email and phone the five member TV networks. Sign the online petition at demanddemocraticdebates.ca, and spread the word.

Together, we can ensure that our choices on Election Day are presented fairly.

We want May, too, on May 2nd

I’ve been reviewing the latest political opinion polling results. Luckily, we have multiple major polling firms doing work most days during the federal campaign. This means that we can determine a multiple-provider three-poll average for greater accuracy, while maintaining a focus on recent results. Many of the sites that report multiple poll results (308, electionalmanac) also produce seat projections. What does it all add up to at day zero of the campaign? Very close to exactly what we got on Election Day 2008. So, is this election not needed or wanted, as some would have us believe? Nope.

First of all, I never mind an opportunity for Canadians to have a voice at the polls. We’re lucky to be solving our problems this way (ballots not bullets). Also, these are just the opening polls. Who knows what the next five weeks of campaigning will bring for the fortunes of any party.

Secondly, there is a great deal of potential for one significant change: a breakthrough Green Party seat in Saanich-Gulf Islands. Elizabeth May is running in a close race with Conservative incumbent Gary Lunn, and far ahead of the Liberal and NDP candidates. I think that this is the best potential for a meaningful change in the next Parliament, that Canadians will find interesting, engaging, and a breath of fresh air on the important issues we face.

Nearly a million votes were cast for the Green Party of Canada’s candidates in 2008, and we deserve to have those wishes respected and represented. We want our Parliament to include May, too. If you want May, too on May 2nd (election day), join me in supporting her campaign. One simple way to do this is to tweet with the hashtag #May2onMay2 – and of course visit her website (ElizabethMay.ca) to provide deeper support from anywhere across the country.