With that sentiment in mind, this rhetoric is ridiculous:
"I don't think we need her in the debate," said Charlie Angus, the party's MP for Timmins-James Bay. "Dion is obviously her leader. I don't think there really is a place for Elizabeth May. She's not giving us a clear enough alternative."
Mr. Angus was joined in his criticism by former party leader Alexa McDonough.
"It's pretty hard to distinguish now between the Grits and the Greens," Ms. McDonough said. "So I guess she can have her leader, Stéphane Dion, speak for her in the debates. It seems an odd way to shrink down her party stature, but that's what she's done."
To be fair, others have come out favoring May’s inclusion in the debates, but the above is just absurd, for a party that prides itself on its egalitarian nature. I thought the electoral system needed reform, to better reflect the wishes of Canadians, open up the process? Don’t the 600 000 Green voters deserve a voice on the national stage, clearly the Green Party has moved beyond the fringe.
There is a danger here for the NDP, in its approach to the Green Party. The reactions come off as highly partisan, with little relationship to the rhetoric the party likes to project. Obviously I’m biased, but I would say the NDP has appeared bitter, slightly vindictive and entirely unproductive in the Day/Dion aftermath. The reaction should have been high signal, but instead it makes the NDP appear just like the other parties it so often loves to condemn.
The political risk, and this is where I think many in the NDP are being shortsighted, you give Canadians the impression that you’re not part of the solution, but more part of the problem. Core NDP supporters will remain steadfast, but I suspect we could see some erosion in soft support, as a stop Harper movement takes shape.
May should be in the debates, period. The NDP should embrace this stance as a real reflection of the ideas it likes to champion. Anything less looks like petty partisanship, and detracts from the continual attempt to paint the NDP as different from the others. There is a “siege” mentality developing within the NDP, and I don’t think this posture will resonate well with Canadians, in fact I’m willing to bet it comes at a cost. If you prescribe to the idea that the Greens and Liberals are conspiring to marginalize the NDP, I submit the early disappointing reaction from the NDP only helps the cause.