This is from the green party directly in regards to their exclusion in the public debate.
Dear Candidates, Members, Friends and Concerned Citizens,
By now you may have heard that Jim Harris, the Leader of the Green
Party of Canada, has been excluded from the televised Leader's
This despite the fact that we currently have over 300 confirmed
candidates, despite the fact that we have plans to become only the
fourth party in Canadian history to run a full slate of 308
candidates, despite the fact that we are polling at 6% nationally and
despite the fact that a seat at the debate table has been opened up
by the merger of the Progressive Conservative and the Canadian
Alliance parties. You can further familiarize yourself with the
strong case we have for inclusion in the debate by downloading and
reading our "Letter to Broadcasters," available on the home page of
our website (http://www.greenparty.ca/
Many of you have already let us know that you are outraged by this
turn of events. Now we are asking for your help. We are confident
that a mass outpouring of support can reverse this decision. We can
still get Jim into the debates and get our message out to all
Canadian voters. Time is short however - with the debates scheduled
for June 14 and 15 we need you to act now.
There are a number of broadcasters involved in the decision to
exclude Jim from the debates. The contact information for the primary
people involved in the decision to exclude us is below. Please review
the attached sample letters and phone, fax, write and email these
individuals and the CRTC to let them know you want to see Jim in the
debates. When you write to individual broadcasters and media outlets
please remember to be as polite as possible. The more personal the
missive the better! Handwritten letters and post cards are best and
faxed messages are better than emails.
When you send email comments please carbon copy (CC) the email
address email@example.com as well. That way we will know how many
of you are responding to our call for help. We can't guarantee a
timely response to emails sent to that address but if you would like
more information you can also contact us by phone at 1-866-868-3447
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also sign our petition by going to our "How You Can Help"
Debate Action Page
Please forward this email to all of your contacts and encourage them
to contact the broadcasters as well. Thank you from all of us!
Towards a Greener Future,
The Green Party of Canada
Authorized by the registered agent for the Green Party of Canada
*SAMPLE LETTER 1*
To Whom It May Concern,
I am outraged at the decision of the broadcast consortium to exclude
the Green Party from the televised leaders’ debate. With polls
indicating that 5 per cent of voters support the Green Party and its
full slate of 308 candidates, the decision is simply appalling.
As voter apathy increasingly undermines the principles of democracy,
Canadians deserve to be informed about alternatives. If the emergence
of the Green Party is the impetus that will inspire young people to
return to the voting booth why don’t we hear more about them?
The media is totally off the mark in how it admonishes people for not
embracing their democratic right. It is less the fault of voters
below the age of 24, who are the most likely to vote Green, than the
media that neglects to legitimize their concerns.
*SAMPLE LETTER 2*
To Whom It May Concern,
I am frustrated by the decision of Canada’s broadcasting consortium
not to invite the Green Party to the leaders’ debate, starting June
14. Support for the party is strong in Québec, Ontario, and British
Columbia, where star candidates like Andrew Lewis (Saanich-Gulf
Islands) are turning heads in their ridings.
The Green Party is emerging as “the new kid on the block” and I
personally would like to see more of them. When a Reader’s Digest
poll released in January 2003 on the trustworthiness of professionals
in Canada placed federal politicians at the bottom rung of the
ladder, it points to a larger problem of credibility.
My question to the media is: why are you spoon-feeding us the same
old diet of bland politics when the Green Party has so much to offer?
The Green’s commitment to proportional representation and equal work
for equal pay place it front and center in the hearts of Canadians
who are concerned about the future.
*SAMPLE LETTER 3*
To Whom It May Concern,
What’s up with the consortium of Canadian broadcasters? Excluding the
Green Party from the leaders’ debate confirms, in my mind, that the
media is part of the problem. The writing is on the wall: in the 2001
B.C. election, Green Party support among 18-34 year-old voters was 28
per cent – the highest support for any party. So why is the Green
Party underrepresented in the media?
It’s appalling how news agencies are contributing to voter apathy in
this country. The Green Party exists in more than 100 countries, and
has elected representatives in nations all over the world. Still the
media refuses to acknowledge their increasing influence.
Hence I am writing today to request that the consortium reverse its
decision and allow the Green Party to participate in the debates. The
importance of this debate cannot be overstated. There is widespread
agreement among political scientists and mass communication experts
that televised leaders’ debates in this country have gone on to
become defining moments in federal election campaigns. It would be
wrong to deny the Green Party their right to participate.
Contact: Joanne MacDonald
Contact: Arnold Amber
Contact: Peter Kent
Contact: Renaud Gilbert [ombudsman]
*CRTC* [please consider filing a complaint]
Contact: William Howard
*Canadian Association of Broadcasters*
Contact: Sandra Graham [public affairs]
*Canadian Broadcast Standards Council*