The decision not to allow Green Party leader Elizabeth May into the upcoming leaders’ debates is a shame. As I wrote last week, while there are legitimate reasons for progressives of all stripes to be wary of the Greens’ boat-rocking on the centre-left, including them is the right thing to do.
The Green Party has hired Toronto-based lawyer Peter Rosenthal and will deploy him against the networks, but as the Law is Cool blog points out today, political parties haven’t found the courts sympathetic in the past when they tried to sue their way into the studio. Both the National Party of Canada and the Natural Law Party tried and failed on that count. The Greens have more credibility than those two fringe parties, but the courts are very leery of mandating what private media should and should not cover, and it seems the party will make little progress on that front.
Now, suddenly, the Greens are enjoying widespread and sympathetic media coverage (like this blog post, of course) because of this unpopular decision by the broadcasters. And the decision by the Conservatives and the NDP to peevishly boycott a Green-inclusive debate is unbecoming for both. The current uproar over the mechanics of the debate and who’s-boycotting-who is just a distraction from a real discussion of envrionmental policy which is desperately needed, and formally including the Greens in that discussion is a no-brainer.