‘What a fraud’ whines Conservative operative Tim Powers

Blogging in the Globe and Mail, Tim Powers railed against Elizabeth May. (It’s often a good sign to be on the receiving end of such criticism and the comments which follow, my own included, largely bear this out.)

Mr. Powers, what you really would have liked, of course, was for Ms. May to declare that Stephen Harper’s commitment to the environment is worthy of a second mandate. (Crickets. I hear crickets.)

Seeing that she is not going to be Prime Minister this fall, it only makes sense that Elizabeth May would back her second choice – the party with a workable plan for carbon emission reductions. This was not a call out to Green supporters everywhere to vote Liberal. She knows we can vote Green and still beat Conservatives. I live in one of the safest Liberal seats in the country and will have no qualms voting Green – firstly, because I am a Green Party member and I want the party to receive the money-per-vote it will under the new financing policy and, secondly, because I have no reason to fear a Conservative will win in my riding.

It was from the Greens that the Liberals’ green plan was taken and, with getting on with that work her top priority, Elizabeth May declared only that the Liberals would obviously make a better government than the Conservatives.



Green Party TV ads optimistic and effective

The Green Party began running a series of ads today to be broadcast through to the end of the campaign, this as Harris/Decima released poll results for September 29 – October 2 showing that, in Ontario, the Green Party is tied for third place with the NDP at 17 percent (and higher in some areas, according to H/D’s Bruce Anderson who appeared on CBC Newsworld’s Politics program ), while the Conservatives have a 34-31 percent lead over the Liberals. (More about the Politics broadcast below the videos.)

Green Party goes prime time with first-ever TV ads
OTTAWA – Fresh from a victory for Green leader Elizabeth May in the English-language televised leaders’ debates, the Green Party taking its momentum to the airwaves by releasing a series of historic television advertisements. Featuring leader Elizabeth May, the ads were released across Canada today. The ads mark the first-ever national television campaign for the Green Party.

In the ads, Ms. May is featured speaking about subjects that are close to the hearts of Canadians. She covers the Green Party’s economic plan, the elimination of poverty, protecting the natural world and improving democracy in Canada. The ads were filmed on Ms. May’s cross-country whistle-stop train trip, where she reached out to Canadians from coast to coast with the Green Party’s message of hope.

“The commercials provide a fresh approach to politics. They are unscripted, free from manipulation and are straight and honest,” said Jim McDonald, national campaign manager. “We wanted to raise the tone of political advertising in Canada.”

The ads will give Canadians the opportunity to hear Ms. May explain issues without stooping to the negative representations offered by the other parties.

The ads are being broadcast on all of Canada’s major networks, both in prime time and off-peak periods.

In addition, regional ads will target British Columbia and Quebec. Deputy leader and Vancouver Centre candidate Adriane Carr is featured in the British Columbia ads. The Quebec ads feature Claude William Genest deputy leader and candidate for Westmount-Ville-Marie.

English ads are running nationally on CTV, Global, CBC, CBC Newsworld, CTV Newsnet, E! Canada, and City-Toronto. French ads are running on TVA, Radio-Canada, and RDI. Videos are available on the Green Party’s YouTube Channel – http://ca.youtube.com/user/canadiangreenparty.

Elizabeth May 2008 TV Ad 1 – Grassroots

Claude Genest 2008 TV Ad 3

Elizabeth May 2008 TV Ad 2 – Poverty

Claude Genest 2008 TV Ad 2 (en français)

Elizabeth May 2008 TV Ad 3 – Economy

Adriane Carr 2008 TV Ad

Claude Genest 2008 TV Ad 4

Elizabeth May 2008 TV Ad 4 – Democracy

Claude Genest 2008 TV Ad 1 (en français)

Elizabeth May 2008 TV Ad 5 – Nature

Don Newman’s ‘Press Gallery Pundits’ today were Joan Bryden and Rob Russo from Canadian Press, Don Martin of the National Post and CBC Radio’s Chris Hall. Together they picked through the entrails of the two debates this week. Rob Russo said he thinks Stephane Dion’s English is better than Stephen Harper’s French but added that there’s a double standard when it comes to bilingualism in political life in Canada, which I agree with, whereby a francophone’s English must be more proficient than an anglophone’s French.

Chris Hall thought Harper was back on his heels in the early going in the English debate with Elizabeth May pointing out that the leaders had agreed to devote more time to discuss the economy and yet Harper showed up with no initiatives – let alone a platform.

On the question of minority/majority outcomes October 14, Russo said he believes Elizabeth May and the Greens are going to win many more votes than last time which will make it easier for Harper to win a minority – with even less than the 36% of the vote he won last time. (Of course the Liberals and NDP have been terrorizing us with that line for months now.) Newman and Martin tossed about the irony of Elizabeth’s strength perhaps coming at the expense of Dion whom she has said she would favour as Prime Minister over Harper.

I won’t be budged. The more individual votes the Greens can win, the better the party will be able to operate as a forceful voice on climate change and other issues. It is what Elizabeth refers to as the perversity of the first-past-the-post electoral system that so poorly reflects the will of Canadians. If the Greens get, say, ten percent of the votes across the country on October 14 it seems crazy that we would not have seats in Parliament.

So vote Green. With election financing the vote is worth about $10 to the party over the life of a government. That’s money to be used to grow, to broaden our support and to help Canadian democracy.


Elizabeth wins debate debate

Conservative leader Stephen Harper and NDP leader Jack Layton have now agreed to let Green leader Elizabeth May participate in the nationally-televised leaders debate October 2. Layton relented this afternoon, apparently breaking a pact he had with the Harper campaign, so then the Conservative camp caved. Layton was being hounded by questions and, with a handful of supporters of Oshawa Green Pat Gostlin circling the NDP bus, protests were only going to grow.

Now, back to the election campaign.


The debate heat is following Layton

Protests do not have to be large to get attention in election campaigns. NDP leader Jack Layton was touting a new jobs plan when a few Greens intervened to ask him about the role he played in keeping Green Party leader Elizabeth May out of the upcoming televised debates.

Here’s how cbc.ca reported it:

Green protester removed from event

Before Layton spoke, police politely removed a lone protester from the parking lot where the event was being staged, the CBC’s James Cudmore reported from Oshawa.

Cavan Gostlin was protesting the NDP leader’s refusal to allow Green Leader Elizabeth May to participate in the nationally televised leaders debates.

“Come on, Jack. What are you afraid of?” said Gostlin, a Green party member who told reporters his ex-wife is Pat Gostlin, the Green candidate in Oshawa.

As Gostlin marched alone up and down the sidewalk beside the NDP event, two women bearing placards saying “Let Elizabeth speak” joined him.

Layton has faced heavy criticism from many self-proclaimed New Democrats for his opposition to May’s participation in the leaders’ debates next month. Layton is believed to have threatened, along with his Conservative counterpart, to boycott the events if May is allowed to participate.

Of course the website also provides lots of space for comments and, yes, many Canadians discussed the policy initiative Layton was trying to present but many – some quoted here – had another message for him:

Sorry Jack…I am another life long NDP voter joining the ranks of NDP voters who will be decamping your team this election! Heather H. tried to keep you on topic this morning re the Elizabeth May debate and you totally refused to answer her questions re your part in the refusal..behind closed doors etc.. Its a good thing your were not taking a polygraph…you would have failed miserably. I loved your ideas re monies to corporations with the caveat that they be innovative and keep jobs in Canada. The problem is I can not trust your integrity to follow through. If you can’t handle a debate with EM, how will you stand up to the Corporate Big Boys? Shame, shame

Jack we expected great things from you and all you’ve done is prevaricate.SO SAD

You know before Jack took the cowards appoarch in regards to letting Elizabeth May debate I might have read his comments

not now!

the man(?) does not exist as far as I am concerned

It would appear that the Greens scare Layton as much as they do Harper. Democracy is good, Jack. Look into it. Especially with a name like New Democrats. Why would Layton allow himself to be seen as having the same playbook as Harper? Bad move. So the Greens have a deal with the Liberals, boo-freakin’-hoo.

I no longer care what Layton sas about labour issues or anything else. His threat to boycott the leader’s debate if the Greens could participate shows his true stripes. Say ‘whatever’ to promote himself. The voices of Canadians, all Canadians don’t matter.

There’s an irony that the NDP supports proportional representation in Parliament but Layton excludes voices from taking part in a democratic debate . Why should all folksbe represented in a PR system but not represented at the debate to get there? Layton should immediately apologize to the Green Party leader AND to members of his own party who have struggled for years to ger PR on the discussion table.

Jack… I used to think you were a decent guy. Now… all I have to say is take your ball and go home. You stand against freedom of speech, opinion and belief. You stand against a woman (Elizabeth May) because she scares you. Your ideology is dead pal. D.E.A.D. Should be trying to make friends with the greens (the only party gaining any substantial support) instead of creating enemies with them. Oh well you made your bed pal.

THANK YOU Cavan Gostlin, and others, there to hold Layton to account for his refusal to debate Elizabeth May!

after boycotting Elizabeths May inclusion in the Electoral Debates I can’t take anything this man says seriously. LEAST of all anything Green. I can’t believe i ever gave this man my vote

I’m another traditional NDP voter right royally ticked off with Jack’s performance re Elizabeth May and the Green Party’s particpation in the leaders debate. As a matter of fact I will not be voting NDP again federally or provincially (sorry Howard) until Jack is no longer leader.

If only the NDP would stop shielding the bullies and the privateers in their wrong decision to exclude Ms May from the debates, they would truly form a formidable alternative way of leading and governing.

I’m amazed Jack Layton can’t see that, regarding Elizabeth May’s participation in the debates, he’s in a losing situation. Keeping her out will win him few, if any, votes and will, on the contrary, lose him quite a few. What’s he afraid of? Isn’t he sure that what he and his party has to offer Canadians is better than anything the Greens have? I’ve voted NDP all my adult life, but, unless Layton agrees to May’s participation, here’s one vote he won’t be getting.


Help convince other party leaders to debate Elizabeth!

ITEM:  Greens can’t participate in leaders’ debates, networks rule – Defiant May won’t rule out legal challenge

 Here’s the story from cbc.ca and there’ll be no shortage of reactions like these: 1234

I’m so angry I can’t describe it. While I can understand Stephen Harper’s objections – everything from arrogance to misogyny – Jack Layton’s are more selfish but I think female dippers might have something to say to him.

Wouldn’t Harper and Layton (and Duceppe who’s also in on this) love a chance to throw stuff at Elizabeth the way their hacks do? From the Conservatives, “Oh the Greens are just hippies and a one-issue party” and from the NDP, “Sheesh, those Greens are more Conservative than Harper. Watch out for them!”

While people equally outraged as me were probably already massing, I left this comment on the cbc.ca website:

I think members of the consortium should meet at a small, family Italian restaurant near the O train (or subway, depending on whether it’s Ottawa or Toronto).

There’s a little bathroom in back with a toilet that has one of those tanks on the wall, you know, with a long chain to flush it. It’s a perfect place to hide something…


Until Elizabeth is let in to the debate I’d like to see the other leaders get nagged throughout the campaign at every stop – not by media, necessarily, but by…hmm…agitated guests and on-lookers.

IM’ing Kelly I was just reminded that years ago, during the first Quebec referendum, the campaign turned completely after a female cabinet minister compared female federalists to a dowdy, compliant housewife character on Quebec TV named Yvette. Before you knew it Yvette rallies were being held all across the province and it was probably the difference between Yes and No!

Maybe we need a movement like the Yvettes to open the doors to Elizabeth October 1 and 2!

Letter from the Green Party of Canada to GPC Friends and Supporters

Today’s decision by the broadcasting consortium is an inexcusable mistake and a slap in the face to all those who care about democracy and freedom of speech in this country. They have bowed to crass partisan politics from three other federal parties. Elizabeth May deserves to be in the included in the nationally-televised leaders’ debates. She has jumped through every hoop that has barred her way and she still is being kept from presenting the Green platform to a national audience by the Conservatives, NDP and Bloc.

The Green party is a truly national party that has run candidates across the country for the past two elections. We have a sitting MP. We had the support of nearly 700,000 Canadians in the last elections and are polling at over one million votes in this election. There is no logical reason why Elizabeth May and the Green Party should be kept out of this important national forum.

No other party has been as successful as the Green Party and still be blocked from public national debates. In 1993 the Reform and Bloc Parties were included in the debates with only one MP and no official party status. Neither ran candidates across the country. There is no precedent for this private decision to exclude the Green party from the leader’s public debate. In fact, all the precedents support our inclusion in this public forum. . Partisan politics has kept her out, this is an insult to the Green party and called the fairness of the election into question

It is so important for Elizabeth May to be present at the debates. The majority of Canadians make their voting decisions based on them. The Green party needs your help to remedy this situation. We need you to write, call and contact the Broadcasting Consortium and tell them they are wrong. Tell them that Canadians deserve to hear the voices of all national leaders.

Most importantly, you should phone, fax or email the party leaders who kept Elizabeth May out of the debate. Make them accountable for this outrageous, antidemocratic act.

Stephen Harper:

Conservative Party of Canada
Election Headquarters
#1204 – 130 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5G4
Toll free: (866) 808-8407
Phone: (613) 755-2000
Fax at: (613) 755-2001
Email: pm@pm.gc.ca

Constituency Office
1600 – 90th Avenue SW
Suite A-203
Calgary, Alberta, T2V 5A8
Telephone: (403) 253-7990
Fax: (403) 253-8203

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario; K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-4211
Fax: (613) 941-6900

Jack Layton:

Canada’s NDP
300 – 279 Laurier West
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5J9
Phone: 613-236-3613
Toll Free: 1-866-525-2555
Fax: 613-230-9950
TTY: 1-866-776-7742
Email: Layton.J@parl.gc.ca

Constituency Office
221 Broadview Avenue
Suite 100 (Main Office)
Toronto, Ontario; M4M 2G3
Telephone: (416) 405-8914
Fax: (416) 405-8918

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 995-7224
Fax: (613) 995-4565

Gilles Duceppe:

Bloc Québécois
3730, boul. Crémazie Est
Montréal (Québec) H2A 1B4
Téléphone : 514 526-3000
Télécopieur : 514 526-2868
Email : Duceppe.G@parl.gc.ca

Constituency Office
1200 Papineau, # 350
Montreal, Québec; H2K 4R5
Telephone: (514) 522-1339
Fax: (514) 522-9899

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-6777
Fax: (613) 954-2121

You can visit http://demanddemocraticdebates.ca to sign a petition to pressure the Broadcast consortium to make sure that Green Party leader Elizabeth May is included in the leaders’ debates. You can also let the broadcast consortium know of your disagreement by contacting them at:

John Cruikshank, Publisher, CBC news
(416) 205-6300

Robert Hurst, President of CTV News

Troy Reeb, Senior Vice President of News Canwest Global
(416) 967-1174

Pierre Dion, President, Groupe TVA Inc.

Ronald Cohen, National Chair, Canadian Broadcast Standards Council
P.O. Box 3265, Station D Ottawa, ON K1P 6H8

Glenn O’Farrell, President and CEO, Canadian Association of Broadcasters
P.O. Box 627, Stn. B Ottawa, ON K1P 5S2
613-233-4035 ext: 326

Talk to everyone you know about this important subject and make sure they get involved in supporting the Green Party’s fight. A complaint has been filed to the CRTC and Legal proceedings to overturn the decision have already started. These initiatives can only be strengthened by your support. The Green Party has retained the best lawyer in Canada in this field to represent the party in court. The Green party is legally and politically required to be in these debates.

We urge you to act immediately to right this wrong.



Picking through the entrails of the byelection entrails

Politics with Don Newman on CBC Newsworld devoted most of the show today to Monday’s byelections and a new poll from Harris/Decima President Bruce Anderson. I winced, then just plain laughed, as Jack Layton attempted to spin Monday’s results, answering Don Newman’s questions as if the Dippers’ byelection win in Outremont had just happened last night.


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Wow! Chris Tindal and the Greens win huge gains!

The Green Party’s Chris Tindal successfully made it an air-tight battle for second place (against the NDP) in what was otherwise a Bob Rae rout of the Toronto Centre federal byelection.  Congratulations to Mr. Rae.  As of  1:16 a.m., with all 275 polls reporting, the results (in order of votes) are:

Bob Rae (LPC): 14,187 (59.2%)
El-Farouk Khaki (NDP): 3,299 (13.8%)
Chris Tindal (Greens): 3,263 (13.6%)
Don Meredith (CON): 2,982 (12.5%)
Doug Plumb (CAP): 97 (0.4%)
Liz White (Animal Alliance): 123 (0.5%)

During the last election, keeping in mind that it was a nation-wide election and not byelections, Bill Graham of the Liberals won 30,874 votes (52.2%), the NDP was second with 23.7%, the Conservatives ran third with 18.2% and the Greens, a distant fourth, garnered 5.2%.

That was nearly tripled for Chris this time, even with the total number of voters down in sadly typical byelection fashion.  Not sure if that is what has Cameron annoyed or not.

The Star’s Susan Delacourt saw the obvious gains for the Green Party of Canada, asking if this should guarantee for Elizabeth May in the next election’s televised leaders’ debate.

To which Greens say an emphatic “Yes”!

Tonight, (or last night as I write this), Bob Rae won a plurality that was unprecedented but the NDP and Conservatives portion of the vote dropped substantially, raising  the Greens.  But it was much more than that.  Chris Tindal’s strong candidacy and positive campaign won votes, fair and square, for the Green Party of Canada which would have otherwise gone elsewhere and also from many people who had not been active voters before. 

At a victory party, Chris spoke to enthusiastic campaign workers at the Pear Tree on Parliament Street, introduced by his campaign manager Jeff Brownridge:

Here’s analysis of all four byelections from Alberta friend Idealistic Pragmatist, a New Democrat.


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