There’s an election going on in Canada. Last night the leaders held their final debate. There have been something like 543 public debates, of which the public has mostly lost count. There are five major political parties in Canada: the Liberals, the New Democratic Party, the Conservatives, the Bloc Québécois (dedicated to dissolving the country), and the Green Party. The Green Party’s leader happens to be a woman, a very smart, eloquent, quick-witted woman named Elizabeth May.
Now here’s the annoying thing. Elizabeth May was only allowed to participate in one of these debates, the first one, which happened to be hosted by Maclean’s Magazine. May was a standout performer, stole the show.
After that, the leadership debates became nothing but a white guys’ club.
White guys in suits. This is a photo from last night’s debate. The guy in the middle, I think, is the moderator. A cringe-worthy photo if I ever saw one. Image via the Montreal Gazette.
And as debate after debate droned on, the fact that May was missing became more and more apparent, frustrating, and infuriating. WTF! May tried gamely to stay in the game by shadow-tweeting through the debates, but the media has paid less and less attention to her.
Whoever organized these events (several different organizations) let the Bloc Québécois (dedicated to dissolving the country — have I made that clear?) into the club but NOT THE WOMAN. Apparently, Elizabeth May is more of a threat than a party officially dedicated to dismantling the country.
Does this make any sense?
As a side note, I’d like to point out that Lynne Quarmby, who made multiple appearances on the pages of Numéro Cinq in years past as an artist, writer, and curator (you can look her up via the search bubble at the top right of the page), is running for the Green Party in the British Columbia riding of Burnaby North-Seymour.
I write this on impulse, I’ll probably regret it.
dg (annoyed and irritated)
Wellllll , of course: She wasn’t wearing a tie!!
That would be it, Malcolm. Elizabeth Mary doesn’t wear a tie. Reason enough in this world.
Thanks for the succinct assessment! What more appropriate reaction than annoyance and irritation?
Thanks, Maureen. Actually, I was being a bit ironic. I am not sure “annoyance and irritation” are the appropriate response. Something stronger perhaps.
There’s nothing to regret in your post, dg.
“Nothing to regret,” indeed. She was dazzling! Articulate, passionate, and right on virtually all the issues. No wonder the (male) Powers that Be wanted her barred from subsequent debates. Forget about ties and suits; they didn’t want their asses kicked again.
I have a “modest proposal,” one that, alas, won’t help Canada, but would sure as hell help us. Let’s have Elizabeth May run for President of the United States! In a single Republican debate, she’d leave the troglodytes in the dust. And she’d fare well in the Democratic match-up as well.
Oh, she’s Canadian? The articulate but loathsome Ted Cruz was also born in Canada. Maybe something can be worked out. If not, let’s just alter her birth certificate (Trump says it’s easy). She’d still get my vote.
You can’t have her, Pat. She’s ours. BTW, I didn’t mention it, but Elizabeth May’s daughter was an undergrad with Jacob at Kings.
But she’s great to watch, isn’t she? The debates without her were truly a drone.
Jeez, she’s fantastic. Please clone and send one south.
Cloning we can do. Would you like multiple copies or just one.
Bruce, aside from the cloning thing, it’s great to have you visit NC. I’ve long been a huge admirer of your press.
Well, DG, it’s unusual to see you commenting on Canadian politics. Please keep us posted on Elizabeth May. I’m really surprised that there hasn’t been a movement objecting to her having been excluded from the debates.
Vivian, Yes, truly surprising. Depressing also that all the other party leaders, even the “progressive” ones, go along with this.
And, yes, usually I keep my mouth shut. But this is so egregious.
Fury? Rage? How about those, as reactions not only to the Elizabeth May disgrace but to the niqab “debate”?
Oh, don’t get me going on the niqab debate. But fury and rage are appropriate.
Also it’s the feeling of being treated as if one is bone stupid.
Now if only the Canadians, Loyalists and all, hadn’t been so stubborn about being dragged into the USA in the first place and second (1812) place, we could have Elizabeth May compete with Hilary and Whats-Her-Name to be on one or another primary.ballot. For E.M., let’s see, Tea, anyone? Establishment GOP? Clinton Dems? Maybe VP with Bernie? (But not yet for Pres; has to get acclimated and acclimitized to a warmer and stormier political landscape.) Can she Trump that?
I’ve been lurk-loving the newletters/links from this site for a while now, but this conversation has prodded me out of my comfortable shadows.
As a Canadian woman, I think what I found most disturbing about Ms. May’s exclusion from the majority of the debates, was my lack of surprise. There comes a point when you see your gender representative, particularly one as competent as Ms. May, counted out so many times in what is an obvious case of gender bias that it fails to draw a reaction because it feels a bit “what’s the point in getting worked up when nothing changes?” I’ve signed several petitions concerning the desired presence of Ms. May at all debates, the debate content (how about those missing and murdered aboriginal women, Mr. Harper?), demands for a healthy environment, among other issues Canadians want tabled, so it’s not as if I’ve lost my fight. But my newfound apathy clearly needed a boot in the arse, so many thanks for that necessary attitude adjustment, Mr. Glover. It’s wonderful to see men as annoyed about this as women–we will never change this without your support.
I’d like to know just why Gilles Duceppe was included, and not Elizabeth May, when he represents the interests of one province; even if we in the rest of Canada wanted to vote for him, we can’t, whereas we can vote for Elizabeth May. There are better ways to include French-Canada than this angry, anti-anglophone, anti-Canada political party. Imagine if there were other province-centric political parties included in a federal debate, to the exclusion of Mr. Duceppe. Quebec would rage and cry unfair.
Also, as a person living in a dyed-in-the-wool Conservative riding (also known as any one of the 9 Circles of Hell), where our only choice for change is to hold our nose and vote Liberal, I appreciate this celebration of Ms. May’s intellect and ability as I will unfortunately not be able to vote Green in this fall’s election. As the election has loomed, I’ve felt sicker and sicker about not casting my vote the way I’d like to, for the party I feel would best govern this country, but I have a chance to help take one seat from Mr. Harper October 19th, and if feeling sick for weeks on end will result in getting him out of Ottawa, it’ll be worth the many dollars spent on ginger chews.
Thanks, Cate. I’m glad this struck you as pertinent. I guess that’s why I posted it, the fact that there just didn’t seem to be much outcry. That flummoxed me. That and the photos of the esteemed first gentlemen of the other parties all smiling and joining hands like boys in the locker room.
Wow! Given what passes in the U.S. as political commentary, the more Americans who read someone like Cate Warren, the fewer will be tempted to prattle about American “exceptionslism.” Reading her extended comment, I was informed, and moved.