Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's not easy being Green.

A Green friend e-mails:
Hey you guys!
The leader of the Green Party of Canada, Jim Harris, is being excluded from participating in the four National Election debates. This is ridiculous seeing as 600,000 Canadians voted Green last election - enough to get them more than one million dollars in funding from the government.

The CBC holds the exclusive rights to leadership debates. It is the CBC board of directors who decides who can participate in debates.

Many voters rely on these debates to hear what their options are. Though many of you may not plan on voting Green, I think you'll all agree that Canadians should have access and knowledge of ALL their democratic options. Consider that the Bloc leader, Gilles Duceppe, will be invited to participate. The Bloc only runs candidates in Quebec. The Green Party runs candidates in all 308 ridings across Canada.

Please go to the CBC website and fill out the webform... You can also go to The Hour website and ask them to bring the topic up on their show or e-mail CTV (newsonline@ctv.ca, news@ctv.ca, duffy@ctv.ca, am@ctv.ca) with a similar request.
The e-mail's not entirely correct: It's a broadcast consortium that controls the debates, not specifically the CBC.

Regardless, because the televised debates are so important to an election campaign, there should be hard rules about who gets in to the leaders debates and who doesn't. It shouldn't be at the whim of the broadcast networks -- Elections Canada should decide.

For the time being, there's a petition you can sign at the Green Party's website. You might also consider e-mailing your favourite party's leader and asking them to push for the inclusion of the Greens or, at least, for Elections Canada to come up with rules about who is included.

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