Trudeau Gives the Finger to English-Speaking Voters

Let’s face it: very FEW Canadians attend political rallies, turn out for election events, study political speeches, read full party platforms or get to see our prospective “leaders” in action beyond quick clips on the news.

In this country of 37 million people … with 26 million eligible voters … the televised Leaders’ Debates offer a window into what the Leaders are like under more spontaneous conditions than in their professionally-produced ads; can explore their personal beliefs; show how they perform under pressure; hear directly where they stand on a variety of issues; and, maybe … just maybe … reveal what they intend to do for … and to … us, if elected.

All of it hopefully exposed through questioning, prodding and challenges by experienced, knowledgeable, probing journalists.

Which is why it is disappointing, to say the least, that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has (so far) agreed to take part in only ONE English-language televised debate … the bare MINIMUM … during the entire 2019 election campaign.

Disgraceful.

Especially when the same Prime Minister has agreed to take part in TWO French-language televised debates.

Am I missing something?

The portion of the Canadian population who identify French as their primary language is now only 20.6%.

How can the Liberal leader justify taking part in TWO televised debates in Canada’s MINORITY language … but only ONE televised debate in the country’s MAJORITY language?

Trudeau is clearly giving the finger to English-speaking Canadians.

And not just the VAST MAJORITY of voters in British Columbia, the West, Ontario and the Maritimes … but also the sizeable number of English-speaking Canadians in Quebec as well.

It’s a coast to coast to coast insult.

Readers of this blog know that I am a strong supporter of Canada’s official bilingualism; respect for minority rights; proud of my own Quebec roots; and, worked hard to learn Francais in La Belle Province many decades ago, at a time when many Anglos sadly did not.

But I believe the MAJORITY of Canadians deserve consideration and time that EQUALS the consideration and time Trudeau’s willing to devote to the minority when it comes to televised debates … and not be treated as second class citizens and voters.

There are TWO additional English-language debates being offered in addition to the one already accepted by Trudeau: he should join the other national leaders and take part in at least one of them.

His will send out a message of EQUALITY if he does …. and a message of PREFERENTIAL catering to French-speaking voters if he does not.

Harv Oberfeld

(This will be a very close, critical federal election: I invite ALL readers to participate in the discussions on here and to pass along the link to this Blog http://www.harveyoberfeld.ca to friends and family to encourage a full discussion of issues and ideas … before they vote Oct 21.

And, of course, anyone can get FREE First Alerts to all new topics on the blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam … just FREE First Alerts. )

Posted in British Columbia, Media, National | 37 Comments

Maxime Bernier DESERVES a Voice in Election Debates

Maxime Bernier is no un-elected fringe misfit leading a bunch of kooks.

He was first elected as Member of Parliament for Beauce, Quebec in 2006 … and has been re-elected by a wide margin by the people of his riding several times since.

Bernier served as Minister of Industry, Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper..

After the Conservatives lost the 2015 election, he served as Opposition critic for Innovation, Science and Economic Development in the shadow cabinet of acting leader Rona Ambrose and then new leader Andrew Scheer.

In fact, in 2017, Bernier even LED Scheer in 12 rounds of voting for the new leader of the Conservative Party, before losing to Scheer in the 13th round … still capturing more than 49% of the delegates’ votes.

Bernier clearly has enjoyed proven popularity with a fairly wide national political base.

Since last September, after breaking with Scheer and the Tories, Bernier has led a new party … the People’s Party of Canada … that has already nominated 314 candidates right across the country for the 338 seats in the upcoming Oct 21 federal election.

The People’s Party policies are seen by many (including me) as too-far right wing, ultra nationalist and even xenophobic … but that should be no reason to deny Bernier a podium in the two national election debates (one in English and one in French) that will take place Oct. 7 and Oct. 10.

The People’s Party IS a legitimate party, with a sitting MP as leader.

Blog readers may recall that, in 2011, when Green Leader Elizabeth May was fighting for a podium in the Election Debates back then, I supported her right to take part. (You can read that post here: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/election-debate-separatists-in-greens-out/)

She did not get to participate that time, but the outrage over her being sidelined helped deliver her an election victory as the Greens first MP … and her ONE seat gave her a voice in both Election Debates in 2015.

The party is now polling at over 10% nationwide .. and has grown both federally and provincially.

Canada’s broadcasters should have learned a lesson: the “people” WANT more choice, more ideas, more democracy.

And although Bernier has, so far, been refused a place on the stage, taking part in BOTH the English AND French debates will be Yves-Francois Blanchet. Who??

He’s the leader of the Bloc Quebecois … a party running candidates ONLY in Quebec.

How can an ELECTED MP leading a registered federal party running candidates right across the nation be denied a debate voice in a national election debate … but the leader of a party running candidates in only one province be invited to take part ????

The “rules” governing WHO gets to take part in the debate were made by the establishment (media, corporate, political) to protect and serve the establishment … not expose the voters to new ideas, policies, potential leaders … even one repeatedly elected.

It sure looks to me like the “fix” is in to stifle the People’s Party right wing nationalist message.

The People’s Party is right now scoring just over three per cent in CBC’s national poll tracker. Who knows what exposure for the party’s message in the debates could do!

Ask Elizabeth May.

Harv Oberfeld

(This will be a very close, critical federal election: I invite ALL readers to participate in the discussions on here and to pass along to friends and family the link to each blog piece to encourage a full discussion of issues and ideas before they vote Oct 21.

And, of course, anyone can get FREE First Alerts to all new topics on this blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam … just FREE First Alerts. )

Posted in British Columbia, Media, National | 32 Comments