A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Anti-democratic News Media

It has been reported this morning that the news media barons have decided that you shall not hear from all the political leaders in any upcoming debate, but that Elizabeth May who had the support of over 900,000 voters right across Canada in the last election will be excluded. This is particularly galling when a regional party, the Bloc,with only a slightly higher popular vote and NO representation outside of Quebec is included. Who gave them the right to decide who you can and cannot listen to, who gave them the right to effectively pre-decide who should have the opportunity to put their views before the public, why should we allow a few corporate big wigs to artificially spin the odds in favor of the incumbent partys.
It matters not which party you support this is once again an affront to democracy, not this time by the Harper regime but by the corporate media barons, it is unacceptable to exclude a party who represents the wishes of so many Canadians.
I have no doubt that there will be the same outrage that a similar decision last time brought about, it was eventually changed to include Ms May and any citizen who truly cares about democracy must once again let these media types that pre-filtering the news and political debates is no less a measure of contempt for democracy than the Harper regime has shown of late.

Elizabeth May MUST be included in the debate if it is to have ANY legitimacy in helping us decide who REALLY cares about our parliamentary democracy.

Sign the petition at http://demanddemocraticdebates.ca/

And so it starts, the Victoria Times Colonist reports -

"The consortium's decision was met with disagreement from at least two parties. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff told reporters in Vancouver that May "belongs in the debate.
"Of course she's welcome . she was there last time," he said.
A spokeswoman for the New Democrats' campaign said the party is "fine with her in the debate."
"We believe in open debates that are based on consistent and understood rules," said Kathleen Monk. "If certain leaders are not invited to participate, I think it is reasonable for them to know why."

Also see E Mays piece in the  Globe and Mail  and Andrew Coynes twitter comments as collected here.

The television companies, while admitting they have no rules for who participates in the leader’s debate, have attempted to overrule Canadians by barring Elizabeth May. She learned of the decision from a Canadian Press reporter and not from the TV companies.

“They are trying to silence the voices of one in ten Canadians,” said Elizabeth May.
  The Green Party has retained legal counsel and will be making an application to the court in the next few days should the TV companies continue to deny democracy. Details of the legal application will be provided soon.

“The House was brought down on contempt. This is contempt for democracy,” said Deputy Leader Adriane Carr.

Show your support for democracy and contact the news directors of consortium members CBC, CTV, Global, TVA or email party leaders Stephen Harper, Jack Layton, Michael Ignatieff and Gilles Duceppe

The Montreal Gazette reports that - Earlier in the day, Duceppe said he agrees with Elizabeth May, the Green Party leader, that she should also participate.

Meanwhile Mr Harper seem to prefer to debate just the Liberal leader, seems the other partys 'don't matter' in this election!

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