The Leaders’ Debate: Old men in suits

By Rose Simpson

Let’s face it: the election debates are a complete bore.

Once in a while, there are fine moments.

We always liked the “you had an option” debate. You know the one; it gave Mulroney a slam dunk over John “old man pants” Turner. It was all about a bunch of patronage appointments forced on Turner by Trudeau. (Colin Kenney come on down!)

But for the most part, election debates are bad television with a bunch of boring old men in variously colored ties doing a lot of punching the air with their fingers while staring lovingly into camera lenses, a terrible technique taught by media consultants who’ve never had a job in television but who get paid handsomely to give out bad advice.

But the debates do give us a chance to see the candidates and their policies as they are, without the filter and interpretation of the media. .

The media also focus only on the frontrunners and largely ignore parties like The Greens, even though more Canadians than ever are voting for them. The Greens have good ideas and, most importantly, they are pure of heart, word and deed. It is true, they struggle to win seats, but that’s because the mainstream parties have convinced Canadians that a vote for Green is a wasted vote.

That’s why only young people and true environmentalists, for the most part, vote for Greens. And the mainstream parties don’t give a shit about young people and environmentalists. They don’t fit into the traditional “tent”.

Because the meanstream parties and the mainstream media run things, this year, it appears The Greens will be left out of the leader’s debate. Instead we will be treated, once again, to the drone of the main four. Even the Bloc gets a chance to participate in the debate and most of us can’t even vote for them.

Last debate, I found the inclusion of Liz May to be uplifting. She actually saved the leader’s debate because she wasn’t afraid of calling a spade a spade. She’s feisty, she’s true and honest, and she asks a lot of questions the other posers are afraid to ask.

It’s strange that Liz May got the boot. Didn’t her party get more of the popular vote last time than the Bloc?  I guess that doesn’t count, right?

Because Liz May was in the debate, we got to see firsthand what the Greens were all about — without the media filter –and a lot of Canadians liked what they saw. 

Not this time.

The suits have spoken. The traditional boys club wants to keep her out, and democratically dumb down the debate.

I think we should rise up in solidarity and boycott the debate altogether.

It will be right in the middle of the American Idol and Biggest Loser finales anyway — two television contests in which the democratically chosen few get to present themselves to the public.

Thank God for America.

Canada sucks democratically.


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