Saturday, August 30, 2008

Guess Who's Afraid of Elizabeth May?

Well this certainly has been an interesting day for the leader of the Green Party.

First she recruits Blair Wilson to join the party so she now has an MP in the House, then she announces that this means she should be included in the televised debates.

I happen to agree that she should be included, as obviously that would stregthen the case to be made on pricing carbon and moving quickly to do so.

That would leave Mr. Layton in a bit of a tough spot, because May is on record as saying she thinks that the NDP were wrong to denounce a carbon tax and the Liberal's Green Shift. He'd have a pretty difficult time defending his plan as being the right one if the leader of the Green Party, not just Dion, is explaining how it won't take effect quickly enough.

But of course the other loser if May is included would be Mr. Harper. It's no wonder then that his communications director Kory Tenycke announced today that the Conservatives do not believe that she should be included. I guess that's not a surprise really, but what was is the reason he gave.

He said that she should not be included because there should only be one Liberal involved in the debate. Huh? He supported this bizarre comment by stating that May is on record as supporting Dion as PM, which is really only half true. On each occasion I've seen her asked, 'who would you like to see as PM', she always says herself first. Until then, she has said she'd rather see Dion than Harper. Apparently that makes her a party member.

Not only is this a ridiculous claim to make, it's bizarre strategy to work to deny her entry. Harper already is being touted as having an empty plan for the environment and working to keep May out will certainly reinforce that image.

I know he wants the election to be all about his leadership, but guess what? He doesn't get to limit the issues Canadians want to discuss.

Strong leader? Nah, just a coward that can't face a real debate about real issues.

Update - May interview on CTV. (h/t to commenter Chrystal Ocean.)


catherine said...

Good post! I want May in the debates.

Harper's spokesperson is just repeating Layton's words.

"Yet, that is the case that Layton made when he argued last week that the deal struck by the Green and Liberal parties to not run candidates against each other's leader is reason to keep Elizabeth May out of the election debates." [from Toronto Star, April 2007]

Chrystal Ocean said...

Layton doesn't want May in the debates either. Of course, that's no surprise, is it?

As for May supporting the Libs, it's nonsense. She answers that charge and talks about the convention of allowing party leaders to run in their ridings unopposed in this CTV broadcast. (NB You have to put up with that nauseating Con TV ad first. The May interview is worth putting up with it, however.)

knb said...

Catherine, it's now even worse for Layton to have May there, so it will be interesting to see what he says going forward.

Oddly, all the media covering Layton this afternoon forgot to ask him about it.

Not running a candidate against a leader is hardly new.

It really bothers me when the media don't seem to reflect on context and history when asking questions.

catherine said...

Kady at ITQ had a clip on this and implied that the media all "forgot" to ask Layton, even though she suggests they had been planning to. I guess Layton had his spiel ready and was good at controlling things.

I voted NDP since Layton has been leader (and before) and now I think I must have had rocks in my head. Or has he changed? When I hear Harper and Layton just giving out the same spin (and it doesn't have to be exactly the same to see all the reinforcing spin in each one's statements) it really gives me the creeps. Okay, Harper scares me a lot more, but Layton frustrates me more because I used to support him.

Off topic, sorry, just ranting because the spin from Harper/Layton after their meeting came up.

penlan said...

More spin from Harper & Layton. Interesting how the rules change to whatever suits the Cons. When the 1st Reformer got a seat did anyone say there can't be 2 right-wingers in the debates? The PC was still in existence at the time.

It would be great to see May debating with the boys. Between her & Dion it will finally make the debates more interesting & perhaps lively.

knb said...

Thanks for that Chrystal Ocean. I've just added the link as an update.

And thanks for the warning about the ad. It's pathetic imo.

RuralSandi said...

Interesting to see how the media handle this one - afterall, they used to say she wasn't in the debates because the Green's didn't have an MP...well they do now.

I personally don't like what May has done, but it seems it was the only way she could do it.

Now, people will have to flood the media with protests about Harper/Layton - do they control what media should be doing?

Anonymous said...

Somehow it seems more applicable to have the Bloc, a party that doesn't even care who is prime minister, as long as Quebec 1) either get's their way, or 2) succession. They have no national presence and it's ok to have them.

It's quite baffling to see them stretch any kind of rational for exclusion to suit their needs.

And since when did any political party decide how televised debates are to be conducted.

knb said...

catherine, rants are permitted, lol.

I think Layton has changed, though I never took to him, (though I too have voted NDP)but not with him as leader.

By changed I mean my discomfort with him was that he was an opportunist and that suspicion has been borne out for me.

That said, you likely didn't have rocks in your head but rather hope in your heart.

If he has a poor showing this go around, I think he's gone. Sadly, Mulcair creeps me out even more than Layton and at this point he seems the likely heir.

knb said...

Ooops, I meant to react to your Kady comment.

I watched the scrum and in fairness to the media in this instance, Layton just suddenly turned on his heel as the questions were still coming at him.

It was weird actually but one of his minions likely saw the May question coming and got him out of there.

knb said...

It would be great to see May debating with the boys. Between her & Dion it will finally make the debates more interesting & perhaps lively.

penlan, not just more lively, but to my way of thinking, more honest and factual.

knb said...

sandi, I'm going to leave it up to Green supporters to judge May's decision.

I understand why the Lib's could not bring him back into the fold and I think I understand May's rationale for taking him in, but it's a weird beast this political thing.

Agreed on the protest thing.

Harper does control the media in that he controls how he uses it. If in the next couple of days Layton joins ranks, well we have a problem.

You know, the more I think about this, the more I think the Lib's should compile a list of how often Harper and Layton have parroted each other.

catherine said...

knb, thanks for your kind words (about not having rocks but hope). I feel so fortunate that the Liberals have a leader like Dion, just when I decided that I needed them.

I agree completely about Mulcair.

knb said...

acid, I've never understood why the Bloc is invited to the debates.

I get why they are in the House, or did get that intially, and I don't expect that to change now.

With Harper's 'nation' declaration, they, I'm sure, now claim that a nation within a nation requires a voice in parliament.

wilson said...

Good link knb. It seems PMSH has bought the advertising spot for all CTV vid links LOL.

catherine said...

As far as parotting, there are obvious examples like keeping May out of the debates. There are more subtle examples, like what Harper's spokesperson said right after the meeting with Layton:

"I think . . . the fundamental point is that they have very different perspectives in terms of the direction for the country," said Kory Teneycke. "As a point of evidence one only needs to look at all of the confidence matters Mr._Layton has voted against the government on."

They have a face to face meeting and this is Harper's message to the press -- count the confidence votes. One imagines Layton and Harper sitting there, counting on all fingers and toes, before having to meet the press.

knb said...

Yes wilson, it would appear that he has.

I won't fault him for strategy, but I guess you can tell just how threatened I am by the ad's vacuous content, given the fact that I linked to it.

I say, spend your money when most people aren't paying too much attention.

It's a terrible ad btw and doesn't Goldhawk use that tag line, "On your side"? Goldhawk is a fan of course so won't likely sue, but oh, the irony is delicious.

Putting lipstick, (from a five and dime store), on a pig comes to mind when speaking to the ad.

knb said...

Agreed catherine.

It's funny. Dion agreed to meet on the 26th of August and was put off by Harper's people, yet Kory said they'd been trying for weeks to speak to Dion. It's a lie and no one calls him on it.

Dion's sched has been well known for some time so to suggest the 09th of Sept. shouldn't be a shock to anyone.

You know, all parties spin to a degree but I am so ticked that the Con's get away with lies. I read at Kady's or Wheary's that after the fact, off the record, Kory was queried about this, but why not on the record? I don't get it.

That said, I think Dion is taking the right tack. Duceppe and Layton are playing into the charade and come out with nothing to say.

It's they say and things may change, but for the moment, I'm okay with this.

penlan said...

"I think . . . the fundamental point is that they have very different perspectives in terms of the direction for the country," said Kory Teneycke.

Layton's non-stop talking point since the last election - that the Cons "are taking the country in the wrong direction". Two peas in a pod.

It's shameful of the media not to say anything about the offer by Dion of meeting on Aug. 26th & Harper refusing it. It's misleading by NOT reporting. I don't "get it".

I can't stand the pic of Harper's smile at the end of that ad. It creeps me out. Everytime he smiles he reminds me of Howdy Doody - for those of you who remember that character.

There would be something very wrong if May was not allowed into the debates as there are Green candidates across the country & Duceppe is there & only has one province covered, for obvious reasons. I'm concerned that the great Steve will do everything in his power to keep her out.

Anonymous said...

LAYTon is in cahoots with Harper...Harper is telling Layton what to do and say so they will decimate the libs and Layton will be leader of opposition. Layton is not good for the ndp and they turned down the wonderful bill blakie to get this conservative puppet....they are both gunning for dion.

penlan said...

Dion is now meeting with Harper tomorrow, Mon. That was quick.

Ryan said...

Haha... I don't know why I still visit this blog and don't expect nothing but partisan "gotchas." All this Liberal spin about other people's spin is making me dizzy.

Bash Layton all you like! All the parties spin. Politics is a childish game, in case all you kind people haven't realized it yet. They all play, and will continue to do so. The craftiest party with the deepest pockets will almost always win. One would be silly to suggest that the saintly Liberal party is the only one free of partisan hackery.

Haha, otherwise why would the Greens take on Blair Wilson? His integrity? Or is it the fact that this will give them political leverage?