Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not A Surprise Canadians Want Elizabeth May Included In The Debate, But Are They Right?

Elizabeth May, the Leader of the Green Party of Canada was excluded from the leaders' debate by the consortium of television networks on Sept.8, leaving the Greens and many Canadians outraged.

A poll from Angus Reid Strategies came out today suggesting that a majority of Canadians want Elizabeth May included in the debate. Some bloggers have pointed to this to support their argument that indeed May should be included because a majority of Canadians want her to be. Now I don't personally believe that this is a persuasive argument because of the fact no one is against the environment.

No party or reasonable Canadian believes we should just get rid of the thing, "Eh, who needs you environment....Get a job." No, we all value the environment in some way, so it only stands to reason a majority of Canadians would want a party that champions the environment in on the debates.

And if one was to look at more general polling, the same situation occurs when Canadians are asked what is the most important issue. The environment again and again rears its green and leafy head. Why? Because its really a non-partisan issue. Sure the way of dealing with the problems is a partisan issue, but the idea of environment itself is a far less partisan of an issue then of war or of taxes.

The fact a majority of Canadians want Elizabeth May included in the debate shouldn't even be a factor. If there was a political party that had its main premise to stop the strangling of puppies, I can guarantee a majority of Canadians would want that leader in the debates too. Just because people want something, it does not necessarily mean they should get it.

Canadians want Elizabeth May included in the Leaders' debate, but that doesn't mean she should be.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

She has nearly 1,000,000 voters and the party qualifies and a party and receives taxpayer monies....yup, she should be included.

I wonder, if Jack Layton didn't win any seats this time around...would he want in the debates at the next election? You bet he would

Anonymous said...

Yeah, just because someone wins votes and her party receives tax money, I honestly don't think that necessarily means they should be in a debate.

Canada's a free country. We don't control the media.

The green party enjoys the limited support it does because the environment is a no-brainer.

And just because Jack Layton wants in on a debate doesn't mean he should be. Don't confuse want with should be.

-scott
thescottross.blogspot.com

gary said...

Never elected a single MP. Once that happens she has as much claim as the NDP or Bloc to be there although everyone knows on the Liberals or the Conservatives will form government

Matthew Naylor said...

'Just because people want something, it does not necessarily mean they should get it.'

Why not?

You know, I think if the Puppy Strangling party was being funded by the taxpayers, citizens should be able to see their leader debate.

Liz May needs to be in the debates. It's the citizen's election, it's their airwaves, and it's their right.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I don't even think having an elected MP or even a few elected MPs would mean they should be in the debate. I don't think a one-issue party on the environment deserves to be in the debate. Just as a one-issue party on taxes deserves to be in the debate.

-scott

Anonymous said...

Matt: "You know, I think if the Puppy Strangling party was being funded by the taxpayers, citizens should be able to see their leader debate."

Really? You think a leader who'd always bring the debate back to puppies would be beneficial? Have you debated someone who knew of nothing else but one thing? That's not a good productive debate. This is an exaggeration of course but my point is clear.

"Liz May needs to be in the debates. It's the citizen's election, it's their airwaves, and it's their right."

Actually it's not the citizen's election, it's Canada's. That's an important distinction. Also they're not our airwaves, we are not in a socialist country. Lastly, its not a right in any sense of the term.

-scott

Scott Tribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Tribe said...

The Greens are not a fringe political party - they're being publicly funded because they've earned that qualification in the Elections Canada criteria.. and they have a sitting MP now.

Furthermore, the Greens are running in every riding in Canada. How many are the BQ running in? Why is Gilles Duceppes in the English debate and not May, when its obvious he wont be electing anyone in English Canada?

The political parties have a vested interest for not including her - they don't want the Greens eating into their support.

As for the media consortium- they were moving the goalposts all this time, and now that he Greens met their stated requirement of having an MP - they chickened out when the other party leaders threw a tantrum.

The solution? I believe who gets broadcast in leaders debate should be taken out of the hands of this broadcast consortium monopoly (which has shown it can be influenced by other parties with a direct conflict of interest) and written into the Elections Act law.. and do so with clear standards that won't shift around.

Anonymous said...

Scott Tribe: Every point you made doesn't address my argument. May should not be included because the Green Party is a one issue party, just like a party that was obsessed with taxes, shouldn't be included.

So should the Bloc be included? Well considering it isn't obviously a one issue party anymore, I'd say no. Was it ever a one-issue party, I'd have to look more at it.

The environment is important, but debating issues like health care, Omar Khadr, Afghanistan, etc. with a green isn't that productive. I know, I've done it with green candidates, supporters, fans etc.

I do admit May is really smart and talented, for the sake of a productive debate I don't think she should be included.

-scott

Anonymous said...

But this isn't a post meant to argue why the greens SHOULD NOT BE included, rather its a post about why just because Canadians want them included doesn't mean anything.
-scott

MERBOY said...

The Green Party may be perceived as a one issue party... but one only needs to spend half a second browsing their values page to notice that they aren't...

http://www.greenparty.ca/en/about_us/green_values

Anonymous said...

merboy: Their constitution overrides everything. Read the green party's constitution - First premise

"To enhance the effectiveness of the Global Green Movement in creating a Green Society by providing an evolving social and political structure that embraces and supports Green Values and offers itself as a voice for the broader Green Movement"

-scott

MERBOY said...

Anonymous said...

"Their constitution overrides everything. Read the green party's constitution - First premise"

I'm 100% willing to agree that their top priority is the environment... but that isn't really your argument... you claim they are a one issue party... and that just isn't true.

Requirements for participation should be simple... if they used % of votes in the previous election as we do for party financing... there wouldn't be any debate... yes they met the threshold or no they didn't... instead we have this completely stupid situation where we're arguing over totally subjective points.

Anonymous said...

Merboy: "you claim they are a one issue party... and that just isn't true." Though the Green Party is dedicated to other issues, it's sole existence is the environment. Its called the GREEN party. The ENVIRONMENTAL party. Do you get it?

This isn't only my opinion. It clearly states in their constitution they are primarily focused on the environment. Considering the Liberals and Conservatives have nothing close to that type of wording, the Green Party is a one issue party.

-scott

MERBOY said...

Anonymous said...

"It clearly states in their constitution they are primarily focused on the environment. Considering the Liberals and Conservatives have nothing close to that type of wording, the Green Party is a one issue party."

They also list social justice and participatory democracy as priorities.

How do you make a clear rule using a party's platform... "if the party doesn't have the same or similar priorities to other parties that are currently allowed then they aren't allowed"... the 95 referendum question was more precise than that.

Lonecrow said...

"Also they're not our airwaves, we are not in a socialist country."

Wrong, the airwaves are ours (the people via the State). The CRTC grants a broadcast license only upon approved applications. The license granted has terms and obligations. Violate the terms of the license and your privilege to broadcast is revoked.

You have loads of false statements based on faulty assumptions. The Greens are neither a single issue party, nor a fringe party. I recommend the following home work to correct your faulty assumptions. After your home work you can review your statements and decide if you still stand by them.

1) Read the green party policy book
http://greenpart.ca/

2) Read the results of the 2006 election:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_federal_election,_2006

Then come back and re-read your posts.

Anonymous said...

Merboy: "They also list social justice and participatory democracy as priorities." Yes they list these as priorities but what whats the first priority they give? Whats the name of their party? Could they make it any clearer to you?

lonecrow: The airwaves as in media outlets aren't ours. And that's what we were talking about ie the Media consortium. They are not ours.

Even with your technical definition of us owning the airwaves, that's pointless because we'd need the media to broadcast the debate anyways, which again we don't own the media, so its not under our control. And if you're suggesting we should dictate what the media does, that's a whole other argument.

Also never said the Green Party was a fringe party, so don't put words in my mouth.

-scott

MERBOY said...

Scott I'm sorry but you're just wrong... the Green party has opinions and policy statements on all of the major issues.

Anonymous said...

Merboy: What's the Green Party's name again? A one-issue party could address every issue, but the fact remains the green party exists for the sole purpose of the environment. You can't deny that. You can avoid that, but you can't deny it.

-Scott

MERBOY said...

You honestly think of the environment as a stand alone issue?

What about our health (better environment = less cost to our health care system)... the economy (our manufacturing sector would be much more competitive if it was more focused on green technology)... transportation (cities need to start moving towards less polluting forms of transportation in order to improve our environment AND reduce gridlock AND increase productivity).

The Green Party has an environmental focus... which informs their views on all of the other major issues.

You still have yet to outline your concise fair debate guidelines which hinge on party policy.

Anonymous said...

By you're argument nothing is a one-issue party. A party just focused on education is not a one-issue party. Better education=less health care dollars. Better education=less crime. Better education= better economy. That's just a poor argument because every benefit to every other aspect is still conducted through one issue, the environment or in this case education.

The Education Party has an educational focus... which informs their views on all of the other major issues. And guess what? It's still a one-issue party, education. Just like the Green Party and the environment.

"You still have yet to outline your concise fair debate guidelines which hinge on party policy." Yeah, not be a one-issue party.
-scott

MERBOY said...

Anonymous said...

"By you're argument nothing is a one-issue party. A party just focused on education is not a one-issue party."

The Marijuana Party is a one issue party... they exist to push one or two very specific pieces of legislation.

"You still have yet to outline your concise fair debate guidelines which hinge on party policy." Yeah, not be a one-issue party.

Wow that's like saying "cuz Scott says so"... way to make an argument.

If the rule was X% of the vote in the last election... there isn't room for debate... it's simple and fair... everyone knows the rules up front... your way is about as concise as the current policy which seems to change every time we have an election.

Anonymous said...

Merboy: The green party is a one-issue party because they exist solely for the environment. You remove the environment as an issue, there is no green party. Do you understand that?

That is very simple.

So how do you determine if a party is a one issue party? If you take away the one issue, the party becomes irrelevant.

-scott

MERBOY said...

"The green party is a one-issue party because they exist solely for the environment. You remove the environment as an issue, there is no green party. Do you understand that?"

Yeah actually that isn't true... as I mentioned awhile back... they have 6 guiding principles... and only two of them are explicitly environmental.

"So how do you determine if a party is a one issue party? If you take away the one issue, the party becomes irrelevant."

"irrelevant"... wow that's almost as objective as % of the vote... oh yeah except it totally isn't.

Anonymous said...

Merboy: So are you to say that the Green Party would continue to exist if they did not focus on the environment? Is that what you are saying? Could you then tell me would they still be called the Green Party?

-Scott

MERBOY said...

"So are you to say that the Green Party would continue to exist if they did not focus on the environment? Is that what you are saying? Could you then tell me would they still be called the Green Party?"

Are you suggesting they change their name to the Green, Social Justice, Respect for Diversity, Non-Violence, Participatory Democracy Party because without all of those words in their name they obviously don't hold those views?

Anonymous said...

Merboy: Also 4 of the six principles are openly environmental, ecological wisdom, social justice (read the charter of the global greens upon which its derived), Sustainability, and Respect for diversity.

As for the other two; Non-violence, even in this one the Green Party stresses preservation of eco-systems. But even if there's no environmental factor, this principle is hardly unique to the greens, few parties are for violence.

Participatory democracy does have nothing to do with the environment and is unique to the greens, but the only reason why they are for it is so they can have more representation.

At the very least 4 of their 6 principles rely on the environment. The fifth, non-violence is not unique to the Greens. The sixth is just for their own benefit.
-scott

Anonymous said...

"Are you suggesting they change their name to the Green, Social Justice, Respect for Diversity, Non-Violence, Participatory Democracy Party because without all of those words in their name they obviously don't hold those views?"

No. I implied if they weren't about something, they shouldn't have a name saying they were for it. So they wouldn't be called the green party. I don't understand how you don't get that.

Without the environment, having a party called the green party doesn't make sense. Because green clearly means the environment.

-scott

MERBOY said...

There's a big difference between a direct focus on just one issue and having a base issue but opinions on everything else.

Just because you don't view the world as an environmentalist... doesn't mean that people who do aren't deserving of representation and a voice in our government.

There aren't many other "single" issues that can legitimately be brought into discussions on almost any aspect of government... there also aren't many other "single" issues that could garner the level of support the Green Party of Canada currently holds.

Anonymous said...

Merboy: "There's a big difference between a direct focus on just one issue and having a base issue but opinions on everything else." I agree there's a slight difference.

30 comments on a post is sorta a lot. No hard feelings on anything I hope. I know I can be a bit technical or whatever you want to call it, but I'm gonna "directly focus" on another post, like why the Greens want to repeal s.159 of the criminal code, don't understand that.

Also not purposely picking on the greens, I don't like all the parties for various reasons and I'll write on them too.

-Scott

MERBOY said...

"30 comments on a post is sorta a lot. No hard feelings on anything I hope. I know I can be a bit technical or whatever you want to call it, but I'm gonna "directly focus" on another post, like why the Greens want to repeal s.159 of the criminal code, don't understand that."

I would use stubborn before technical. :D

"Also not purposely picking on the greens, I don't like all the parties for various reasons and I'll write on them too."

I can relate to that... feels like I always end up choosing the party I'm least pissed off with vs. one that I love.

MERBOY said...

Watching some of your videos... did you do one on the 10 % ers? I feel like the only one bothered by them.

Anonymous said...

10% ers? Forgive me, I don't know what that is in reference to

MERBOY said...

Anonymous said...

"10% ers? Forgive me, I don't know what that is in reference to"

Here are a few samples that Garth Turner has posted on his blog... I know that we have received 4 or 5 here in Markham.

Each MP is allowed to send free mail to a number of households outside their riding that is equal to 10 per cent of their own riding... as you can imagine this rule exists for educating the public and not partisan propaganda... which is exactly what Conservative MPs have been doing.

Check out the names on the bottom right of each image... Rob Anders' riding is Calgary West.

http://www.garth.ca/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/ten-1.jpg

http://www.garth.ca/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/ten-2.jpg

http://www.garth.ca/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/ten-3.jpg

http://www.garth.ca/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/ten-4.jpg

http://www.garth.ca/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/ten-5.jpg

Saskboy said...

"
Canadians want Elizabeth May included in the Leaders' debate, but that doesn't mean she should be."

Oh look, you're calling Canadians stupid ;-) Shame on you. Expect Leftdog and Taylor and SDA to come and take you down a peg for that oh so shameful admission.

Anonymous said...

Oh saskboy... You caught me. I'm afraid I'm going to have to threaten you now with legal action on behalf of the Scott Party... FYI we're not just a one issue party, because if you focus on scott, the economy will get better as a result and health care will improve.