I sent this to various Saskatchewan media yesterday. It appeared in part in the Star Phoenix and Leader Post.
This province has had its laws constructed and maintained over the last 20 years by the NDP (coalition w/Liberals), and Sask Party. To exclude other parties from the debate on TV is to only give the status quo a voice. This is inherently unfair, and undemocratic. The professor quoted in the newspaper story is referring to numbers of past elections. This election campaign is about the future. You can’t base debate criteria on the past, when an election is to determine the leaders and opposition of tomorrow.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Protest for More Debates on TV
Regina, Saskatchewan – October 13, 2011 – CBC and other broadcasters colluding to hold one televised election debate, are being anti-democratic, according to Regina citizen John Klein. Klein is a blogger, a Green Party of Saskatchewan member, and IT professional who has again organized a small, short, and sweet protest to be held in front of CBC Regina on Broad St. on Friday October 14, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
“I want there to be more debates, not fewer debaters,” repeats Klein, “because that’s how democracies thrive, by informing their citizens so intelligent choices can be made on good information.” The CBC Ombudsman agreed earlier this year that CBC is not aligning its debate airings with its role as the public broadcaster, in a similar erroneous debate decision made nation-wide. http://www.cbc.ca/ombudsman/2011/03/the-consortium-decision-on-the-leaders-election-debates.html Despite the Broadcast Consortium’s attempts to keep Elizabeth May off the air, she was subsequently elected, contradicting those who said Canadians didn’t want to hear from a party with no seats at the formation of the previous government.
Earlier this year, NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter wrote in the Leader-Post that he’s in favour of “inclusive debates”. Lingenfelter, and Klein both want more debates to be held, not exclusion of debaters for the broadcasters’ convenience. Ryan Bater, Victor Lau, Rick Swenson, and even Dana Arnason deserve equal opportunity to defend their parties’ ideas for voters to decide upon. “An invited politician should not have to threaten to boycott an unfairly scripted debate, for the people of Saskatchewan to get the hours of TV exposure they need with the party leaders, to make an informed choice on election day,” says Klein
– 30 –
Last time I had to do this, it was April, and it was a beautiful Spring evening. I hope you’ll be able to join me for a short, repetitive, but fun walk in front of CBC on Friday evening. Dress warmly, and we’ll walk/cycle/car pool over to a pub afterward.