Hockey: 1, Democracy: 0

Hockey: 1, Democracy: 0

Georges Laraque

Today I feel like democracy in Canada is a complete joke. I'm in
total disbelief that Harper, Ignatieff, Duceppe, Layton and the
broadcast consortium decided that the Habs vs Bruins game this week is
more important than hearing from Elizabeth May in the debates.
Apparently, including the Greens -- the voice of a million Canadians --
just isn't a priority. But watching a hockey game is?

The other
leaders have insisted for weeks they do support Elizabeth May
being in the leaders' debates. Well, today clearly shows they were lying
to us. Let's get this straight: they can't unite to force the
consortium to include the Greens, but when it comes to hockey there's
absolutely no problem? We now know the leaders are actually running the
show. Make no mistake -- if they truly wanted Elizabeth May to debate,
she'd be included in a heartbeat.

They try to explain
it all away by saying they want to maximize viewership for the debate. This
makes sense, but what about the million Green voters out there who will
be disenfranchised from the debates because their leader isn't at the
table? Are they less important than hockey fans? The hypocrisy is

So what effect does this have on our democracy? Well,
it's no wonder that 41% of Canadians didn't even bother to vote in the
last election. Who can blame them, when cynical stunts like this prove
that the politicians are only in this for themselves and could care
less about the public good?

Today I have one message for all
Canadians. If you're tired of hypocrisy, if you're tired of being lied
to, and if you're fed up with the system, do something about it. Vote


P.S. Some of you sent me comments about a
Le Devoir article earlier this week. I just want to clarify that I
don't think elections are a waste of money -- they're an essential part
of our democratic process. The government deserved to fall, and the
Green Party wouldn't have supported the budget if we had seats in
Parliament. But I think the real reason we are in an election is
because the parties in the House of Commons each saw an opportunistic
chance to win more seats. If it was about principles, the government
would have fallen a long time ago. The Conservatives have put forward budgets far worse than the one in March, for example. But the
Greens are running an energizing and engaging campaign, and I know that
on election day voters in Saanich--Gulf Islands will elect Elizabeth
May as our first Green MP.