Adding People’s Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier to the Official Election Debates on Oct 7 (English) and Oct 10 (French) will dramatically change the tone and content of the event … and possibly even the election.
Debates Commissioner David Johnston has reversed a preliminary ruling last month that found Bernier failed to meet two of the commission’s three criteria to qualify.
“Johnston’s initial conclusion was that, according to polling data current at the time, the PPC didn’t have a “legitimate chance” to win more than one seat. He gave the PPC time to submit more material to change his mind,” the CBC reported.
“And now Johnston has — by citing polling data from four ridings the PPC itself had identified as winnable and by factoring in what Johnston called the “recent political context” that included the party’s membership and fundraising activity.”
I believe it was PRESSURE from the PUBLIC and SOCIAL MEDIA (a VICTORY for the BLOGOSPHERE!) … certainly NOT from Canada’s establishment political parties or establishment media … that forced the change.
This does not mean the public and those of us engaged in social media agree with all, most or even any of the statements and stands Bernier and his party take on the issues of immigration, migration, refugees or even multiculturalism.
But we DO believe in REASONABLE rules for inclusion in democratic discussion and debate of ALL ideas and points of view that do not subvert or contravene the laws of Canada.
And as someone who pushed for letting Bernier participate, let me be perfectly clear:
I personally SUPPORT immigration; I WELCOME legitimate refugees seeking asylum; I ACCEPT (although not enthusiastically) to some extent, multiculturalism … so I’m not likely a voter worthy of much attention by Bernier or his local candidate.
However, being the elected leader of a national party running almost a full slate of candidates, he DOES deserve a chance to take part in the Official Debates. Period!
And make no mistake …. Bernier being there will alter the dialogue.
Yes, immigration and refugees etc would still have been discussed … but I’d bet in a much more limited and wishy-washy style than Bernier will likely now force!
Watch for him to raise the cultural, linguistic, maybe even religious implications of these issues for Canada.
Could make the debates much more heated and emotional.
And interesting to watch!
(To hear an interview I did on this topic on The Goddard Report, click here: https://www.howestreet.com/2019/09/18/good-move-to-include-ppc-leader-maxime-bernier-in-debates/ or on YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EuTaT-SfI4&feature=youtu.be
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. )