Apparently Green Party leader Elizabeth May will not be invited by a “broadcast consortium” to participate in the televised leaders’ debates prior to the coming election. Only the leaders of the four recognized parties in the House of Commons will receive an invitation, and each of the invited parties have made it clear they will not contest the broadcasters’ decision for two debates to be held before the May 2 election.
According to Ms. May, “This decision will be pilloried by Canadians from coast to coast because it offends our basic sense of decency and fair play.” While some Canadians may be upset by the decision, I doubt there’ll be much “pillorying” going on. How does one pillory a decision? Beats me.
Prior to the 2008 election, the Green Party had a turncoat Liberal MP, Blair Wilson, sitting as a representative MP, but this time around the Greens are without an MP in the House of Commons. Seems fair enough to me that a leader without a seat in the House be excluded from the leaders’ debates.
Frankly, after the broadcast consortium allowed Ms. May to participate in the 2008 debates, she said and did little that would suggest she will be missed this time around. Mostly, she sat beside Prime Minister Stephen Harper and verbally abused him throughout the broadcast, seldom saying anything that might be considered debate.
Ms. May claims, “We are the only party committed to “high road” politics, to rejecting the politics of negativity, the attack ads and the smears.” Yet, perhaps with the exception of “attack ads,” she regularly participates in all those things. And it’s obvious that—after more than a quarter of a century of futility—Canadians aren’t buying whatever it is she and her party are selling.
The Green Party started in 1983 and has never elected a single MP. Contrast that exercise in futility with the record of the Reform Party, founded four years later in 1987, which elected Deborah Grey in a by-election in 1989 and by 1993 had 52 seats in the House of Commons. As I see it, the Reform Party had a leader of substance and something of value to offer Canadians, the Green Party has neither.