With the promise that a larger Green Party platform would be made available on April 11, GPC leader Elizabeth May threw us a bone yesterday and gave us a sneak peak of what her vision for Canada would look like.
I was hoping that her speech at the CBC offices in Victoria, BC would have reflected the fire and brimstone she showed on environmental issues in her opening speech on the day the writ was dropped: in the first thirty seconds of that rally she had commented on blocking oil tankers from the Georgia Straight and thrown her support behind the locavore movement in Canada.
But on this day, May opted to keep up the public support for democracy and national institutions. A fine tactic, and a worthy cause if ever there was one (we’re a CBC household), but few would wager that seats are won on support for public broadcasting in Canada. Sad but true – this is not the hot-button issue it once was.
According to the GPC,
The full Green Party platform and budget, to be released April 11, will include a three-year investment in the CBC: $100 million in 2011-2012, $150 million in 2012-2013, and $$200 million in 2013-2014. The investment will provide the CBC with stable base funding so it can continue to provide quality Canadian content television and radio programming in both official languages.
They’re right, of course. And the fact that no other Leaders are talking about this issue, as May indicates, is less an issue of their disagreeing with her, and more of what I like to call the ‘bigger-fish-to-fry’ syndrome.
May also argues that “concentration in Canadian media, corporate control of news content, slashing of local news content, and the slow funding starvation of our national broadcaster – these are issues the corporate TV executives would rather not see come up in this election.” She feels that this may be the underlying reason why she has been excluded from the Leaders Debate.
I won’t partake in conspiracy theories. As noted elsewhere, May deserves to be in the debate, regardless of what she has to say about the state of public broadcasting vs. corporate broadcasting in Canada. It is unacceptable, whatever the reason, that she be denied this opportunity.
But for May’s sake, and for the sake of the GPC and our democratic discourse in this country, I sincerely hope that support for public broadcasting is not the hill that May chooses to die on. I am glad she raises this issue, but let it be one plank among many on which the GPC platform is founded.