Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Elizabeth May and The Politics of Exclusion

How can a group of five television executives decide to exclude a party running in 308 ridings when they include a party that can never form government as it runs in only one province? How can debates, a critical part of the democratic process, operate in such a high-handed and arbitrary fashion? How can a party with the support of one in 10 Canadians be excluded? And most fundamentally, how can TV executives tell Canadians that a vote for Green candidates is not a real choice? That is in fact what they are doing. Far from facilitating a full and fair discussion in a democracy, they are interfering in democracy by dictating what choices are worth making.   Elizabeth May”, Globe and Mail, March 30, 2011

There is nothing entertaining about Elizabeth May’s exclusion from the federal leaders’ televised debates.  Once again, Canadian main stream media has exercised its habitual politics of exclusion.  Why is such an arbitrary group as the television Consortium allowed to determine who should and should not be involved in the fate of our country?  In what possible way does this gaggle of suits deserve such exclusionary, arbitrary power?  What can they possibly  fear except the possibility  that Harper, as his nasty wont, will threaten to withdraw as he did in 2007? (Just speculating)  Even the Americans, who frequently exercise exclusionary powers in the mainstream media, transcend such concentrated and arbitrary power through their Commission when it comes to national debates.  How embarrassing for Canada once again on the world stage!

The Green Party of Canada is a legally constituted federal party, the Party is running candidates in all 308 ridings, and Elizabeth May (unlike Michael Ignatieff) is a duly elected leader of the party.   If anyone should be excluded, it’s Gilles Duceppe, whose “federal” party is dedicated to the withdrawal of a province from Confederation, and whose party is running candidates in only one province.  But to do so would be every bit as exclusionary and undemocratic as excluding Elizabeth May.

Where’s the petition?   I want to sign up now.

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