10 September 2008

With May In, Viewership Gets a Boost

On Monday, Daphne and I learned of Jack Layton's and Stephen Harper's threat to the media consortium to boycott the Canadian televised debates should Elizabeth May be included in them.

It so happens that both the Canadian English language and the US Presidential debates are being held on October 2nd. Therefore, given the exclusion of May, which was contrary to the wish of 66% of Canadians, we determined that our attention that evening would turn south of the border.

Early this afternoon, Layton, then Harper, changed their position on the matter.
Dogged by protesters and divisions within the ranks of his own party, Mr. Layton told reporters during a visit to a solar-panel company here Wednesday that the debate about the debate has become an unwanted distraction.

“I have only one condition for this debate, that the Prime Minister is there, because I want to debate the issues with him,” said Mr. Layton. “I don't want to be debating the debate forever.”

This placed the onus on Harper, the remaining holdout. It was therefore no surprise that Conservative spokesperson Tony Teneycke soon provided this response:

“It appears the NDP has changed their position. Our position has been to support the NDP on this point of principle. We are not going to be the only ones to boycott the debate.”

(Matt over at Pample the Moose makes the point that reversing oneself on a position of "principle" suggests that the original position was unprincipled. Oh, to have Harper - or Layton - admit such a thing!)

So, May is in.

Now being the political junkies and avid debate watchers that we are, we know of at least two households whose members will be glued to their computers.

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