Green Party of Canada - Media Release
Ottawa, Dec. 14 - More than 660,000 Canadians voted for the Green Party in the last federal election and the latest public opinion polls show that the Green vote will be in the millions in the next election.
With its historic second-place finish in the recent London North Centre by-election, beating both the Conservative and NDP candidates, the Green Party confirmed its status as the fastest growing political party in Canada.
But party leader Elizabeth May is not yet allowed to participate in the leaders' debates during the upcoming general election which will likely be called early in the new year.
"Voters have a right to hear where all the major parties stand on the issues," Ms. May said today. "That's one of the cornerstones of democracy - an informed electorate. The continued exclusion of the Green Party from the leaders' debates is an affront to democracy in Canada."
DemandDemocraticDebates.ca is a national e-mail petition campaign aimed at the broadcast consortium - a group of TV network executives who control the debate content, format and which leaders get to participate. The DemandDemocraticDebates.ca website gives Canadians the opportunity to send a message directly to these decision-makers, adding their voice to an online petition demanding the Green Party leader's inclusion in the next leaders' debates.
According to Canada's Chief Electoral Officer Jean-Pierre Kingsley: "Canadians today draw their electoral information primarily from television . . . The public broadcast of a debate held by several leaders of registered political parties is not a contribution to the parties but the provision of a service to the public."
The Green Party's popular support has earned it the right to be included in the debates.
"It's a ludicrous situation," said Green Party Deputy Leader Adriane Carr. "Every Canadian voter had the opportunity to vote Green in the last two elections. Their tax dollars support us. Our popular support is virtually tied with the Bloc Quebecois'. Canadians deserve to hear from our leader. Besides, including a woman with the debating skills of Elizabeth May would liven up the debates for everyone," concluded Carr.