With all the news about the US presidential race taking up the majority of space in the media these days, it might come as a surprise that Canada’s having another federal election – our third in four years.
I guess it’s a good thing then that the whole process moves at a quick jaunt. Our election was declared and will be decided in the time between Obama being selected as the first black Democrat presidential nominee and the first black president. Us Canucks are efficient.
Well, if you call efficiency having a minority encumbant government that gets to call an election when they feel they are in the best position to win it.
But qualms about our electoral process aside, I couldn’t be happier.
The reason for the grin on my face? The Green Party of Canada will finally be included in the televised party leaders debate. For years the Green Party (a party I’ve run as a candidate for at both the provincial and federal levels) has been fighting to get in this debate. And rightfully so.
There is absolutely no argument that true democracy is based on an informed electorate, and if a well-established party is excluded from one of the primary sources of that knowledge, how can they ever be expected to compete for votes?
Now, we’re not talking about a small fringe party, 660,000 Canadians voted for the Green Party in the last election, and polling shows that could hit well above the million mark in this election (even without being dealt a fair hand for publicity).
But now they’re in. Not long after releasing a request to raise funds to initiate legal action in discovering why they are routinely left out of the debate the broadcasters have reversed their decision of exclusion.
Are the Greens going to take Parliment? Not likely. But this is most certainly yet another step forward for the little party that can.
Finally the Greens are getting out from under that tree-huggin’ hippie umbrella that they’ve been labelled as and being shown as the strong political platform that they represent. A fiscally responsible, sustainability-minded party that deserves a voice in Ottawa.
Hell, I might even try to navigate the process of voting while overseas just to show my support.