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September 14, 2011 / amanda stratton

It Ain’t Easy Being Green.


The Ontario General Election is very quickly approaching, and the leaders’ debate will take place September 27, hosted by Steve Paikin. Oh, sorry, not hosted–I mean moderated. I sometimes forget it’s not just tea with friends being televised.

The leaders of the big three Ontario parties are invited to participate: Dalton McGuinty for the Liberals, Tim Hudak for the PCs, and Andrea Horwath for the NDP, who as it happens, got the coveted middle spot. And she should be as happy as people seem to think she should be, because some leaders didn’t get a spot at all.

Green Party leader Mike Schreiner is hoping to also be asked to participate in the debate.


I’m not a Green Party follower.

I honestly have NO IDEA whatsoever what that party is all about and I haven’t got to reading their platform yet. Here’s what I know: in the last general election, the Green Party received 8.02% of the popular vote.

Remember my math from my look at proportional representation? Same thing here:
In Ontario, there are 107 seats (and were in 2007)
Each seat, therefore, represents about  .95% of the population–just under 1 anyhow.


If you believe in proportional representation
, then the Green Party should have had 8 seats in our 39th Legislative Assembly. They had… drum roll, even though I bet all of you know… none.  There are a lot of minor parties that DON’T typically get a full percent of the popular vote. Actually, none of the rest of them made  it to 0.9% in 2007, though some came close. But the Green Party got a significant chunk of the vote.

Jeff Keay, is a CBC dude, if you will, who has issued a statement–on behalf of the media consortium in control of the debate–that the Green Party didn’t meet the requirement of having a seat, with the insinuation that these are the hard-and-fast rules of political debate as Moses brought them down from the mountain and we cannot alter them. Well, the fact is, the consortium made the rules. They can change them.

I think the Green Party deserves a spot in the leaders’ debate.
Not because I agree with (or, hell, even KNOW) what they’re all about, but because I believe in a government in which everyone is represented, and 8.02% of voting Ontarians do know and agree with what they’re all about.  When the media essentially declares the Green Party to not be a legitimate option, they’re completely disregarding the voices of enough of us to make up several seats, and several votes, in every decision made for the next four years.

I know we don’t use proportional representation, but I believe in it and will act, whenever possible, as if we do. I think the Green Party has earned its place in the debate. If you think that 8% is too much to be ignored–and I know some of you do, and not just when it would suit you–then maybe you can throw Mike Schreiner and the Green Party some support.

HOW? you say:
There’s a petition you can sign here:
http://letmikespeak.ca/en/sign

And I guess that Jeff Keay is the guy at the front of this, so you can contact him here:
On Twitter (it doesn’t appear he’s using to engage, per se, though.)
On the Phone: (416) 205-3987

Okay, look, Jeff Keay is the head of English Media Relations at CBC. I strongly suspect he had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the decision to not include the Green Party in the debate, so I’m not saying harass this guy. But he is the frontline man, and he’s a guy who understands the importance of listening to stakeholders.

Mostly, maybe sign the petition. And maybe call after hours and leave a polite message on Jeff Keay’s answering machine. I mean, if you’re not busy. You’d win all my respect if you did that. And my respect is highly coveted.
Let Mike Speak - Demand democratic debates!


Sources for this Article
Ontario general election, 2007 on Wikipedia

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Tim Shirk / Sep 14 2011 10:38 am

    Nice post – petition signed – Jerky Boys prank call left.

    • amanda stratton / Sep 14 2011 1:37 pm

      Thanks Tim! Jerky Boys prank calls are only acceptable if recorded for youtube.

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