Help me take back control of our political system from media executives who pre-package our political choices. Democracy belongs to the people, not to CBC, CTV, or Global big-wigs. If Link or Yens and other NDP candidates show up to the More Debates protest, they’ll be wresting control out of the hands of media conglomerates by pressuring the media to bow to public demand. Lingenfelter has a trump card (boycott), but is he willing to stand by his earlier words in favour of fair and open debates, and use it?
Mr. Lloyd suggests:
The problem is that if Link boycotts the debate, the media vultures will spin the narrative that he is “afraid” of Wall – which is clearly not the case. I sincerely hope your efforts to make this an issue are successful, so that the media themselves start asking Link if he will boycott so that he can do it without looking scared of Wall.
The absurd irony is that I, one man, am expected to convince the huge media organizations that created this injustice, to put questions to a public figure, so that he can keep up appearances with the injustice-makers, and back out of their phoney baloney staged debate.
Aren’t I supposed to be eaten by a lion next? A little help would be nice.
Give me a little help, please. It’s not for me, it’s for democracy.
The Leader-Post has since removed this article written by NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter:
Let’s Have Inclusive Debates
By Dwain Lingenfelter, The Leader-Post April 6, 2011
I would like to correct some misimpressions about my position on provincial political debates that may have been left by Murray Mandryk’s April 1 column. First, I’m not sure how I can sound like someone backing away from a one-on-one debate since in Saskatchewan there’s been no such challenge, just tweeting from the premier about possible formats.
Second, I believe Mandryk confuses public policy with political strategy by criticizing my rejection of Brad Wall’s idea of limiting the leaders’ exchange to segregated, two-tier debates. Asked by reporters, I said there were two ways to approach provincial election debates: what’s in the political parties’ interest, and what’s in the public’s interest.
Taking the latter approach, I prefer an open, inclusive series of debates to Wall’s segregated, two-tier scheme. I can’t see how that’s bad policy.
I don’t believe in pre-judging the next election or in segregating some parties into a single “Tier-2” debate that fewer people watch because the premier told them its participants’ views are less important than his.
I’ve suggested multiple debates in various regions, with the public submitting questions to all the major parties. I’ve also said the process for deciding who participates should be as open as possible. And, as I’ve made clear to other members of the media, I would be fine with the concept of a one-on-one debate (between Wall and myself) so long as there had been a series of debates involving all the party leaders prior to it.
I made these suggestions because I believe they reflect good public policy, and, as far as I’m concerned, good public policy is always good political strategy for the NDP.
The real question for the premier is why he thinks it’s in his strategic interest to avoid facing some leaders in debate.
Lingenfelter is leader of the NDP Opposition in Saskatchewan.
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It’s no coincidence that October 15th, the day after our protest outside of CBC, is Occupy Regina. The Occupy Wall Street protests are for the restoration of the Rule of Law, and seeing that the 1% wealthiest who own and control so much of our political and media systems do not go unpunished when they step over clear lines of greed, fraud, and corruption of our great countries.