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“Democracy took a beating today”

If you were to look at the front page of Progressive Bloggers (in the past couple of hours, at any rate, since this story broke), you’d think all of our affiliates were Green Party blogs. But that’s not the case. I have of course read Green bloggers outraged at the decision by the broadcast consortium to exclude Elizabeth May, because 3 of the federal party’s and their leaders threatened to take their toys and go home if she was included, but I also see a lot of Liberal bloggers, NDP bloggers, and non-partisan bloggers with no political affiliation all coming out and condemning the consortium’s ruling, saying that they should not have wimped out on this because of some whiny party leaders. Even some journalists are saying that as well.

This needs to be addressed in the Elections Act. Criteria and standards for getting in need to be made into election law, so a media consortium can’t dictate who gets in and who doesn’t (and even worse, get cowed by the political parties who have a vested interest in keeping May and the Greens out of the debates, as they apparently did here).

UPDATE: Over at DemocraticSPACE at his article which was linked to above, Greg Morrow reminds us that when polled on the issue, 80% of Canadians wanted Elizabeth May in the leaders debate. Three of the parties leaders and the media consortium are indeed flaunting the will of the people here.

UPDATE 2 @ 8:03 pm: Another NDP blogger, NBCDipper, while taking a rather dim view of May and the Greens, also agrees she should be in the debate, listing some precedents why they should be.

UPDATE 3 @ 9:14 pm: Now THIS is interesting – the BQ is now claiming it never said it would boycott the debates if May and the Greens were included. Read Andrew Coyne’s blogpost for more.

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