Elizabeth May has been denied a place in the debates. The NDP is arguing that the Greens are a "one issue party" and May forfeited her chance at a place in the debate by endorsing Dion. The Conservatives are saying May's inclusion is "fundamentally unfair", she is merely a second "Liberal candidate". It's a sad day for democracy.
From a political perspective, I have mixed feeling about May gaining a higher profile. From a strictly principled perspective, May should be in, PERIOD. People assume that May helps the Liberals, because she would be another voice attacking Harper. I think that a simplistic view, because in many ways the Greens draw from the same pool, armed with similar policies, any momentum for May, and the prospects of a further split in the vote, largely works to Harper's advantage. This isn't to say Green support doesn't cut across party lines, but there is no question that there is a real danger of diluting the environmental vote, to the Conservatives benefit. Tactically, May's inclusion is a double edged sword, Liberals need to poach the Green vote, not watch it flower.
I mention my tactical concerns, because I think it highlights the fact that this decision to disallow May from the debates is beyond narrow self interest. If Gilles Duceppe can participate in the debates, then surely a party with a full slate, with ample support, which has now manifested itself in elections, DESERVES to be there. Elizabeth May was screwed, and we all know who the culprits were...
"The consortium of networks, which includes the CBC, said three of Canada's parties were opposed the May's inclusion.
"It became clear that if the Green Party were included, there would be no leaders' debate," the consortium said in a press release.
"In the interest of Canadians, the consortium has determined that it is better to broadcast the debates with the four major party leaders, rather than not at all."
I have heard rumors that the Conservatives threatened to pull out of the debates, should May be included. A complete farce that the networks were bullied in this manner- tell Harper not to show up, and just see how CANADIANS would react to that. Canadians supported May in the debates, the strong arm tactics of some parties were a complete BLUFF. Unbelievable.