Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 3/9/2008 (3123 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The venerable Hack
is not supportive of a plan to let the Green Party
participate in televised debates. Not surprising. Having said that, his argument is quite succinct and more than just a little convincing. In fact, I have been gripped by concerns that Green support is not entirely genuine. Even supporters of fair political play might suspect the Greens merely "purchased" their level of support with the sudden wealth bestowed upon the party by overly generous federal electoral rebate rules that sets the eligibility hurdle profoundly low.On a major philosophical point, however, the Hack and the SF disagree. Also not surprising.The Hack indicates that only those parties with a real shot at winning should participate in debates. I would humbly suggest that is not the issue here. When the Greens are threatening double-digit support in opinion polls, I think the overriding principle is democracy, not winning potential. One of the things that makes democracy such a rocking good philosophy is the idea that it is open to everyone from the average joe to the captain of industry. We all know the inherent fallacy in that statement; politics remains a hobby of the rich and powerful. However, we shouldn't be tailoring our elections to be even more of a exclusive process. It must remain as inclusive as possible. And that means giving Green Leader Elizabeth May
a shot at the other three parties in debates.We should face facts here. The Liberals and Conservatives don't want the Greens involved because everytime you involve another player in a debate, there is another chance someone is going to land the body blow that ends your campaign, and perhaps your political career. Knockout punches are rare in electoral debates, but campaign strategists and handlers continue to treat them like nuclear warheads that could blow up their candidates at any time. If the Greens are anything, they are earnest and well-informed. Perhaps we should ask the political establishment why they fear a showdown with a passionate, intelligent foe? Hum?And as the headline of my piece suggests, I liked the Hack's first headline much better. But then, I'm a huge Jon Stewart