Canada: Green Party Kept Out of TV Debates
As our Canadian readers know, a federal election is coming up next January in Canada. In recent years, the Green Party of Canada has been getting more popular and in the last election it received 583,000 votes, which is starting to be significant in a country of about 30 million people (registered voters is less than that; people who actually vote even less - you do the math). But despite that, the chief of the party will not be present on the 4 TV debates. The Greens haven't had a candidate elected yet, but in 1993 the Bloc Québécois was included in the debates despite not being officially recognized as a party yet, so there's a precedent.
"I find it amazing that broadcast consortium, meeting in secret, five executives, can make decisions in terms of what our democracy is going to look like in Canada," said Jim Harris, the leader of the Green Party of Canada.
The Green Party is threatening legal action, but anything done through the courts would probably happen only after the debates and not have any impact on this election.
Of course, this is not a political endorsement: Treehugger readers are totally free to vote as they want and to decide which political party and candidate they think will be best at making things better (or at least not worse). But we do think that without the exchange of ideas there is no democracy and that having a Green candidate in the debates would force other politicians to discuss green issues that too often take a backseat during electoral campaigns (though, in that regard, it is not quite as bad in Canada as it is in the USA).