Thursday, March 31, 2011
Let's have a losers' debate!
Much talk has been made about how Elisabeth May will not be invited to the debate. The other authors of this blog have already taken a stand on the issue. I agree mostly with Owner and Doggy on this one: it is the network's choice. They are, after all, hosting the debate, and paying for all expenses of the event (to the best of my knowledge). It is their debate which will lack the quick-witted debater who was keen to point out errors in her opponents position and logic.
But instead of simply sitting around and saying, "It's too bad, but what can we possibly do about it?", I propose that May organize a "loser's debate". This debate would incorporate all the parties that do not get seats, but get a sizable portion of the "loose" votes (votes not for major parties). This debate would be a true battle of ideas and logic: Libertarians would face off against Communist, Benevolent Dictators (or statists, either one) against Anarchists, and Socialists against Fascists (the non-Nazi kind). It would be a veritable debate, with ideologies explaining themselves, making their case, and destroying the others'.
Although many years back this would not be possible, now, thanks to modern technological innovations, it can be done. The leaders could link up through video-conferencing, allowing the party leaders to represent from all over the country. The whole thing could be live-streamed, and made available for download on a later date. The whole thing would cost very little, too: under 50$ for a video-conferencing software (or free, depending on which one); live-streaming is generally free or cheap; file-hosting sites will carry a file for very little money.
On top of giving a voice to all the parties that normally remain in the shadows the rest of the time, it would allow a better understanding of the various roots of the normal ideologies of the mainstream political parties: Libertarians and Classical Liberals for Conservatives (generally), Socialists and Classical Liberals for Liberals (generally), Socialists for the NDP, and Neo-Liberals for the Bloc (?). It would allow us to better understand why people vote for a party, even when that party seems to be doing things counter to the ideology (the way people vote for Conservatives, even when they go on spending binges).
In conclusion, instead of sitting around waiting for the next debate, watching a mud-slinging competition (sorry--debate of the party leaders), we should carpe the diem: seize the day. The Green party should organize a debate of the non-elected parties, where ideas would be discussed and ideologies could prove their points. This would not only help the third-party parties, who remain in the shadows, but help the average Canadian better understand the ideologies behind the parties, and the valid points held by the opponents. The whole thing would cost very little, and could have a large impact on the impressions of Canadians. Besides, what does the Green party have to lose? They appear as a doer, they get free publicity as all the third parties tune in, and it costs them almost nothing; the third-parties get a large audience to present to. I, personally, would watch the debate of the best and brightest of the country in politics squaring off in a battle of ideas than the typical mud fight.