So the Green Party leader Elizabeth May won’t be allowed in the national debate for the upcoming federal election here in Canada.
I hate to say it, but it’s not a bad idea to exclude them. Why should they be allowed in? They’ve never won a seat. The only member they have is someone who was booted from another party and joined them afterwards.
Apparently Conservative leader Steven Harper and NDP leader Jack Layton said they wouldn’t participate if the Green Party was allowed in. Liberal leader Stéphane Dion said he would support the Greens, but wouldn’t do a debate if Harper wasn’t there. I think that was the wrong move. Dion should have said he’d be there anyways. Imagine a debate where the current prime minister doesn’t show up? It’d make Harper look small and petty.
Anyways, it was the media that made the decision to not allow the Green Party (Note: While I am a member of the media, I had nothing to do with this decision).
But to be able to solve this problem in the future, I think there needs to be some general guidelines. Maybe something like a party has to meet two of the following three requirements:
1) Has to have 5% of the popular vote in the last election
2) Must have a candidate in every riding
3) Must have a current MP who was elected under the party’s banner
This would give the Green party something to shoot for, and keep the more fringe parties (such as the Communist party or the Marxist-Leninist) out of the debates. Plus, if the Green Party can meet two of those goals, then no one can stop them from being in the debate. It also wouldn’t exclude the Bloc Québécois from the debate either.