Seeking democracy at election time
Although this piece was written with one election in mind that is now past, it applies to elections everywhere and at all levels.
By Mike Nickerson

Elections are about choices. Democracy is about fairness. It is a public right to choose the type of government we want.

But, what if the people don't get to hear about the choices available? What if some association has the power to choose which options the people hear about? Does this not violate the democratic process?

In Ontario, the Green Party has been running in elections for longer than some of those who will be voting have been alive. In every election since they were founded two decades ago, they have run more candidates and gathered more votes than the election before.

In this election the Green Party of Ontario has a candidate running in every single riding in the province, but their leader is not (yet) invited to participate in the Leaders Debate.

The televised Leaders Debate is the single most attended event in contemporary elections. To refuse a serious political party access to such a pivotal event is electoral manipulation of disturbing proportions.

You may or may not agree with the Green Party's perspective, but if you care about democracy, you can help strengthen it in Ontario by encouraging those managing the electoral coverage to include Frank deJong, leader of the Green Party of Ontario in the Leaders Debate on September 23.

Phone, fax or write:

The Ontario Leaders' Television Debate Consortium Peter Rehak Producer, Debate 03 Tel: (416) 205-2962, Fax: (416) 205-6478 C/O Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. W., Toronto, Ontario, M5W 1E6 Also, if you will, send copies to the CRTC Ottawa, Ont. K1A 0N2, Fax: 819-994-0218 and the print media.

Democracy can work when people know the options.

Mike Nickerson acts on behalf of Inviting Debate P.O. Box 374, Merrickville Ont. K0G 1N0 (613) 269-3500 Visit the web site: