I had a very enlightening conversation today with a colleague who does not hold the same beliefs that I do, an invigorating experience to be repeated no more than once a week or as humility and reason would dictate. Which it did, in this case.
I apparently sent a biased trivia question out in my newsletter.
The question was- wait a minute. I can’t even remember the question. I think it was,”Which leader of one of the main political parties has been excluded from the televised debate? What are the two main reasons given?
Or something like that.
And, oh yeah. Biased. And I didn’t even notice it when I sent it out. I just thought I was covering some interesting current events for the students.
The truth is, my only reason for thinking that Elizabeth May should be a part of the debate is because, as one of the 6.8% of Canadians who voted for her, I want to hear what she has to say.
Not exactly a researched opinion, even by my standards.
The points my colleague brought up were:
- The Green Party has never been in parliament.
- If we start letting her in, any old riffraff will be let in (I think there was specific mention of the Rhinoceros party).
- For a televised debate, she would take up valuable time and space, time and space that could be used up very effectively by the other three leaders ( I imagine three great hot air balloons inflating to fill her space). Okay. I added the parenthesis.
As for the media consortium, they state #1 as well as the ever-elusive and never described “journalistic principles” for the exclusion.
Now, these are very strong arguments. But then I would cite the fact that they may not be in parliament, but 1 million Canadians saw fit to vote for them. The only difference between the Green party and the Bloc Quebecois (besides 3 percentage points) is that their supporters happen to be all together, whereas The Green Party’s supporters are all over Canada.
As for Elizabeth’s May team, they are also reminding people that the Green Party receives funding from the government along with the other bigwigs (my words, not theirs).
Let us not forget also that she was allowed to participate in the 2008 debate (after much the same hullabaloo).
But then I just read it was because a liberal MP turned Green at the last minute, allowing the consortium to climb out of the proverbial rock and a hard place by letting May debate while not compromising their journalistic principles (which are not hard and fast rules by the way). Voilà. Everybody happy. Except for maybe that poor liberal who didn’t get re-elected.
So. Now that I have done my research, has my opinion changed?
Well, I see my point, but I see theirs too, as Charlie, owner of Oxford Foods once told me.
In the end, no. I still want to hear what Elizabeth May has to say.
Aren’t we always telling our children not to judge by size or how many members we have in parliament?