Author Topic: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?  (Read 11154 times)

Alison

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2008, 06:21:10 PM »
So, RP,  you think that despite this :
Quote
"It became clear that if the Green party were included, there would be no leaders' debate," the consortium said in a press release.

"In the interest of Canadians, the consortium has determined that it is better to broadcast the debates with the four major party leaders, rather than not at all."

the media should have called the party leader's bluff?

skdadl

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2008, 06:35:46 PM »
I agree, Alison: I think that Harper, Layton, Duceppe, and even Dion, each for a slightly different reason, made the decision. The "media consortium" is a bright shiny object as is the sexism angle -- ooh, it hurt to roll eyes that hard over that one.

And I'm sure that Harper is laughing himself silly at the two days that have been wasted on this discussion.

sparqui

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2008, 06:46:35 PM »
Harper is definitely smirking at how well this played out. Must be from the Karl Rove book of election manipulation.

With this one incident he has managed to fracture his opposition. My guess is that if the election was held tomorrow, the Greens would probably do very well in BC (at the expense of NDP, maybe Liberals), possibly AB and SK but with little significant change, and definitely in MB (mostly at the expense of Liberals, maybe NDP). Not sure how it played out east.
If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor. -- Gilles Duceppe

brebis noire

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2008, 06:51:24 PM »
There's a Green Party?  :)

skdadl

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2008, 06:53:21 PM »
Why does Elizabeth May hate Canada?

Toedancer

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2008, 06:55:56 PM »
Wow having been offline for almost a week, I didn't think this would be up top.

Regardless if it is the media consortium or the leaders, this is anti-democratic. I can't standz the woman, but it is obvious she should be included. This is too heavy handed for my liking of the public airwaves.

My take is somewhat dif with regards to where some voters will go. Her party is chock full of X-reformers, I believe with her 'in' she could have bled off many C votes.

P.S. I thought you'd all be talking about whether this election is even legal.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

matttbastard

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2008, 07:57:53 PM »
Just received the following press release in my inbox:
Quote
September 9, 2008

Fair Vote Canada                                                            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

ENOUGH OF CLOWN-CAR DEMOCRACY

 

TORONTO --  The crude attempt by four of  Canada’s political parties to exclude a fifth  from the national leaders television debate “reveals the clown-car aspect of Canadian  democracy,” says the president of Fair Vote Canada.

“It’s obvious why the politicians fear fair competition on television,” said Barbara Odenwald. “Canada’s voting system is so wonky  that shifting a few votes in a few ridings could drastically change the national election result.”

If Canada had fair voting the media consortium would not even consider excluding Green Party leader Elizabeth May from the debate, said Odenwald. The Green Party would already have the dozen or more seats in Parliament its supporters deserve based on the votes they cast in 2006.

 “Personally I’m tired of  politicians pretending that 37 or 36 or 35 per cent of the vote justifies a majority government, and I don’t think I’m alone in that,” Odenwald said. “They try to fluke into a phony majority, call it a mandate, and lord it over the country for four years. What’s democratic about that?  Nothing.”

“It must be a mandate from God they’ll be claiming, because it’s sure not a mandate from the majority of a democratic people.”

“The voting system is a continuing national embarrassment,” Odenwald said. “The sooner we insist that Parliament make it fair and democratic  –  allow every Canadian an equal vote and equal representation  – the sooner the politicians will be able to stop  making fools of themselves and of us.”

“It’s time to put aside the ridiculous partisan gamesmanship and make Canada a democracy of which we can all be proud, “ Odenwald said. “Democratic voting is what we need more than anything now on offer.”
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RP.

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2008, 08:29:00 PM »
Quote from: Alison@Creekside
So, RP,  you think that despite this :

the media should have called the party leader's bluff?

I think the question is more aptly put, Why would any of the leaders give a flying fuck what the consortium would do in their absence?

Should it have gone thusly:

Party Leader:  You know what, I'm not interested in wasting my time "debating" loony-toon malarky with that Manchurian candidate, thanks but no thanks.
Consortium:  Well, you know what, more people care what you think, so I guess we're better off leaving them out.
Party Leader:  Whoa whoa whoa, when you put it that way, I should stop giving a shit what I think about what a farce it would be, and go through whatever crazy cuckoo bananas waste of time happens to be in the best interest of the Green Party!

???

(being silly at this point)

Toedancer

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2008, 10:28:53 PM »
Silly is allowed at this point in Canada's pathetic voting system. Duceppe isn't running candidates anywhere except in Quebec. I think the release mattt posted sez it all.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

Holly Stick

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2008, 10:51:50 PM »
I think she definitely should be included in the debate.  She's leading a party that now has an MP and  she damned well has a democratic right to be included, as much as Duceppe does, or Manning did, or any of them.

Aside from preferring democracy, I personally would like to see her in because she could stomp all over Harper on environmental matters, and possibly on the rest of them as well.  I've heard her talk about global warming and she knows her stuff.  She may get weird on other issues, but so what, if she can make Harper look as bad as he deserves?  And I would like to see Harper's reaction to a woman who is smarter than him on some topics at least.

ETA: Oh yes, and I question whether Harper is laughing about this, because some people are calling him a coward, and he does not come out looking good.  Neither does Layton.
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

skdadl

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2008, 06:28:04 AM »
Everyone here would prefer PR, but that's not what we have at the moment. Irritating though it is in many ways, the system we have is still a system of representative democracy. MPs do a lot of things besides vote; in theory, they are supposed to be able to represent or help all the constituents of their riding on non-political turf (that only works if you have MPs intelligent enough to grasp democratic principle, but that's another subject). What matters most to democracy is strong defence of the full range of basic and necessary principles and structures -- voting is one of those but it is not a sufficient condition in itself, and it is dangerous to democracy to start thinking about it as a perpetual plebiscite.

The Green Party has never elected a member. Floor-crossers put us on iffy territory -- I think that people judge them differently depending on when and why they happen -- David Emerson, eg, was pretty generally regarded as shocking and cynical. Sure, his vote as a con gets counted as soon as he crosses, but it becomes pretty obvious that he's not going to be re-elected. This one, I dunno, but we are dealing with a sliding scale of judgement when we're looking at the floor-crossers, who have defied the voters who elected them in the first place.

The BQ has contributed a great deal to Parliament and to the nation. They have a number of members elected to the Parliament of Canada, and they function there as responsible representatives of the Canadian people -- when, eg, they vote en bloc against C-484, which the Liberals certainly didn't do and not even the NDP managed. Whatever you think of their political platform, it is a misconception of democracy to refuse to recognize the many other contributions any elected member is supposed to make, and the BQ have in fact proved themselves over the years as a very positive and progressive force in the Commons. I can't believe that people are equating the Greens to the BQ.

It can't be repeated often enough: democracy doesn't just mean voting, and until the rules change, you work with the rules you've got, which are indeed a form of representative democracy.

Catchfire

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2008, 06:49:27 AM »
But skdadl, aren't you applying an ethically cohesive standard to a process that has none? In my perfect world, we have a more representative democracy, which would include PR. Debates would include party leaders who speak to a significant number of Canadians, calculated through some system of vote threshold, number of candidates and applicable social movements. We should be hearing more from voices that cannot be heard and less from those we hear all the time. Such a process would doubtless include EM, who, I completely agree, is a 'gimmick' and dangerous to Canada.

But that's not the system we have, and I'm prepared to accept that. The system we have is cynical: it is beholden to mainstream parties and mainstream media. It is hackneyed, jingoistic and ridden with sloganeering. The system we have lets Emerson cross the floor to give the Cons foreign affairs experience and lets Stronach cross the floor to keep the Liberals in power. We might not like it, but that's the system we have. It's the system the Greens are playing to get what they want. The Greens espouse mainstream policies. They make waves in the mainstream media. And now they have achieved the price of admission the MSM set for them, and they did it with the strategies the mainstream parties wrote for them. And now we still tell them they can't be in the debates?

Whether your motivation is principled or cynical, the Greens belong in the debate. Let's not kid ourselves: the debates are as cynical as our electoral system. They don't engage with policy decisions or major social change. They don't, to be prosaic, change anyone's mind. It would seem to me that in such a platform, May's style of politics would fit right in.

skdadl

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2008, 07:01:59 AM »
I mostly agree with what you've written, Catchfire (but you knew that   ;)   ).

I'm still more persuaded by PLG's position (at our place and probably at EM) that the Greens haven't yet met the current standard (they have not elected a member), and it is further disturbing that May has openly supported Dion as PM. Here are the quotes, at mediabuzzard.

I said that floor-crossers land us with a sliding scale. I think that's why a lot of people really just can't see that this is worth all the noise. And Dion, Ms May's choice for PM, will already be there.

skdadl

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2008, 08:42:02 AM »
I didn't know this; it comes to us from remind at babble:

Quote
European democracies, where there is a multi-party collaboration under PR, only allow 1 member of the multi-party collaboration to speak/debate for the coalition in public and election settings. This is done to prohibit/prevent such democratically unfair public message and debate actions, of the type EMay/Dion was/is attempting, and other equally undemocratic actions that arise from said collaboration, if such democratic measures are not taken.

That whole thread is worth reading (as would be, I assume, the one preceding) for the collection of hairy history of the Dion-May collaboration.

RP.

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Re: Who cares that E. May is excluded from the leaders' debate?
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2008, 09:31:33 AM »
Link plz.

 

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