April 19, 2011
So CFJC has decided not to invite Green candidate Donovan Cavers to take part in its televised debate on April 29. Only candidates who belong to parties that have elected a member of Parliament are allowed, says news director Doug Collins.
By that bizarre logic, they should have phoned up the Bloc Quebecois and urged them to send a representative.
Cavers can take some solace in the fact that the debate on the Midday show takes place on the same day as William and Kate tie the royal knot. With billions of eyes around the world glued to the spectacle, CFJC’s effort will be lucky to make a blip in the ratings.
But seriously, why on Earth would Collins make his decision based on what’s happening nationally? It’s a local show about local candidates. In a recent poll on The Daily News website, Cavers finished ahead of Liberal candidate Murray Todd by 17.2 per cent to 11.8 per cent. Sure, it’s not scientific, but it definitely shows the Greens are a force to be reckoned with in Kamloops.
And how are the Greens, or any other new party, supposed to get a seat in Parliament in the first place? We’ll never get fresh blood if we place artificial barriers to political participation.
It’s especially disturbing in the case of the Greens, because media editorialists (and I’m sure CFJC is among them) are constantly bemoaning the fact that young people are losing interest in politics. The Greens’ emphasis on the environment has attracted the support of many young people, who will only become more cynical when they learn they are being shut out.
Update: Congratulations to Conservative candidate Cathy McLeod for declaring she will not take part in this farce. Michael Crawford of the NDP and Murray Todd of the Liberals should follow suit. Much better for democracy, though, would be an accommodation where all candidates can participate.