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
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.