CBC lets slip, why the Green Party isn’t in Debates

The Debates start tonight with the French Language debate (8-10PM EST) on Newsworld only for the CBC and of course the other networks. (Tomorrows English debate is on Newsworld and the CBC-TV)

At the end of the article the CBC finally addresses the issue of *why* the Greens aren’t in the debate. It’s not surprising, of course.. but at least the acknowledgement is there.

The broadcasting consortium has decided that since the Green party does not have a sitting member in the House of Commons (in fact, no Green candidate has ever been elected as a member of Parliament), Leader Jim Harris will not be included in the debates.

Their reasoning aside for a moment… I would ask this.

How do you feel about a consortium of private companies and individuals (how “public” is the CBC these days??) deciding what voices you hear in your free and democratic elections?

I know how I feel.

Please, leave a comment and tell me what you think… remember to Register first, link is near the Comment link at the bottom of the article.

5 thoughts on “CBC lets slip, why the Green Party isn’t in Debates”

  1. Greens are a significant part of the political picture, they ought to be included. It’s the old conundrum of no experience being a barrier to a job where you can’t get experience without having a job in the first place. That said, I don’t see the Green Party under Jim Harris as either particularly green, nor as particularly interested in the social justice issues that concern many Canadians. While they may not be as reticent to discuss policy as Harper and the Tories, there is not much of substance emanating from Green Party Central. I distrust Green for many of the same reasons I distrust Harper: they both want to get elected on trust and dislike of Martin’s Liberal clique. Hiding underneath the bland campaign rhetoric lies an agenda that isn’t particularly healthy for Canada and Canadians.

  2. While I agree on some of the points of the previous poster, I disagree with labelling all greens as both “under” Jim Harris, and “not particularly interested in social issues that concern many Canadians.”

    If many members had their way, we’d do away with the leadership. However, Elections Canada doesn’t feel the same way, and thus, Jim Harris. For now, wanting to be electable, the non-leader side of the debate has relented. But don’t think they won’t be back at it in the future. This discussion within the GPC is not over.

    As for stating that the GPC isn’t concerned with the social issues that concern many Canadians, I think a look at our polcies would do wonders for changing that view. It’s social-justice centered! Poverty, the environment, economic sustainability, support for small farmers, worker rights, etc. And that’s just policy. You would have to be deluded to think that policy that the GPC comes out with is where all GPC members come from. There are many more who are much more radical than our policy, and many more who are less. Policy is the meeting ground that makes our party work. And social/environmental justice is why we joined it. Not to be elected because we dislike Martin. We dislike the system, buddy.

    How do I feel about this?

    over 4% of the population voted for the GPC last election. Meaning, the party got federal funding because it passed the 2% needed for said funding, to the tune of $1.1 million a year. This money comes out of taxpayer dollars. With this fact alone, I think Canadians are entitled to hear the platform of a party they are essentially now paying.

    The Supreme Court of Canada agrees with me:

    Damn that html. Meant to have the quote from the link included, which stated:

    “The Supreme Court has emphasized that electoral fairness is implicit in the right to vote as enshrined in section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In particular, the 1997 decision of the Court in Libman v. Quebec (Attorney General) (reported at [1997] 3 S.C.R. 569) held (at paragraph 47) that “Elections are fair and equitable only if all citizens are reasonably informed of all the possible choices and if parties and candidates are given a reasonable opportunity to present their positions.”

    In the decision of the Court in Figueroa v. Canada (Attorney General) in June, 2003 (reported at [2003] 1 S.C.R. 912), this principle of electoral fairness was explored in the context of the fifty-candidate rule (the requirement that parties run at least fifty candidates in each general federal election to maintain their status as “registered”). Two of the relevant paragraphs of Figueroa are:

    39. … political parties enhance the meaningfulness of individual participation in the electoral process for reasons that transcend their capacity (or lack thereof) to participate in the governance of the country subsequent to an election. Irrespective of their capacity to influence the outcome of an election, political parties act as both a vehicle and outlet for the meaningful participation of individual citizens in the electoral process.

    44. … Irrespective of its effect on the outcome of an election, a vote for a particular candidate is an expression of support for a particular approach or platform. Whether that vote contributes to the election of a candidate or not, each vote in support of that approach or platform increases the likelihood that the issues and concerns underlying that platform will be taken into account by those who ultimately implement policy, if not now then perhaps at some point in the future.”

    What was quoted was my response and ending. From now on I’ll know to !

  3. If, according to the CBC, and the broadcast consortium says the GPC has had no-one elected, and therefore isn’t significant enough to be included in the debate. First off, what is a public broadcaster doing aligning so closely with private broadcasters? Don’t they have a mandate to fulfil that is at odds with the private sector? How well do they ‘fulfil’ this mandate?
    In 2004 they also voted to exclude the GPC from the big debate. The GPC was too small, and insignificant to pollute the airwaves. Despite 308 candidates, and support larger than the margin of victory in 70 odd ridings. The CBC provided space for the alternate views by sponsoring the ‘Fringe party debate’. The GPC was excluded because they were too large, and well established! Probably just as well, because the fringe label isn’t worth the airtime with yogic flyers in tow and all.
    Nonetheless, this behaviour by a publicly owned broadcaster should worry everybody. We, (The GPC) have some really good ideas, that could be profitably stolen by the main line parties. I suspect the CBC is serving a narrower interest than their mandate justifies.

    tallyho!

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