Who doesn’t love Rick Mercer? Always entertainingly political or poltically entertaining. But his offer to host a debate between the two big boys, Hair-in-the-Fridge and The Count, amusing as no doubt such an encounter would be, is a misplaced gesture that is, inadvertently or not, democratically alienating in its potential outcome. It privileges two of the five main parties and, in effect, excludes the range of voices in the other three federal parties. In short, it’s another example of the politics of exclusion. It’s disturbing enough that the gaggle of suits who make up the TV Consortium want to limit the range of voices to which the public might be exposed; it’s downright disappointing that our boy Rick has so far failed to see the drawbacks of his suggestion.
It’s in the public interest to hear from everyone, a position the Consortium regime should have obviously taken. Why limit democratic expresion, messy as it is, during a federal election?