Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Greens in the debate - and the nature of Conservative "principles"

Interesting. The NDP has reversed its position on letting the Greens participate in the leaders' debate, and the Conservatives have followed suit. Incredible what looking like an anti-democratic thug in the mass media and the blogosphere can do to one's opinions on an issue.

What I find particularly choice is the Conservative party's talking point on the issue, stated here:

“It appears the NDP has changed their position. Our position has been to support the NDP on this point of principle. We are not going to be the only ones to boycott the debate,” Mr. Teneycke said."

Assuming that this is a direct quote from Conservative spokesman Kory Teneycke, can we therefore infer that the Conservative position on the debate issue was completely unprincipled? Or that the Conservatives are in the habit of supporting NDP principles - unless those principles change?

Just a thought...

Update:When this issue first broke in the media, I wrote to my local NDP candidate Tom King's campaign office to ask what his position was on including the Greens in the debate. I just got a phone call back from the campaign office - after the announcement - and the campaign worker informs me that Tom King was one of the voices in the party urging the inclusion of May in the debates. Given that his campaign is focusing on environmental issues and that the Greens are such a force here in Guelph, I'm inclined to believe him. It would have been nice to hear it before the official party line changed though.

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At 5:59 pm, Blogger Chrystal Ocean said...

Good point about a reversal on a principle suggesting that the original position on it was unprincipled. Am writing a post and shall be linking it to yours.

From what I've seen of Tom King, I suspect I'd be inclined to vote for him if I lived in Guelph. And I say this as a Green supporter and having an almost visceral loathing for Layton's "NEW Democrats."

We need quality people in government and King comes across as just that. However, your point regarding his lack of response prior to Layton's reversal is a good one. One has to wonder if, supposing King was in favour of May's inclusion, he would have said so publicly. I'd have waited to hear that before deciding to vote for him.

At 6:48 pm, Anonymous Eamon said...

Dr. Hayday, What do you think of the recent resignation of Conservative Chris Reid? I ask this purely because he was accused of writing a right-wing blog that supported: closing the CBC; ending Human Rights Commissions and hate speech laws; ending abortion; allowing “qualified and trained” citizens to carry concealed handguns; and ending the Indian Act and the reservation system.

You write a blog, so I think you may be able to relate. Do you ever fear you've written something that may affect your career, or even your personal life?

At 8:29 pm, Blogger Matt said...


That's a good question. My approach has always been to be careful what I write in any public capacity - a blog post, a letter to the editor, even an email - because I never know where it might turn up later. My historian's training comes into play as well, because I've seen some remarkably frank (and vicious) correspondance show up in government archives.

The university knows that I blog (as do my friends and family), although when I was on the job market I was always conscious of the fact that a would-be employer could Google my name and find the blog - indeed more than one hiring committee commented on it! All that being said, I like to think that I would stand by anything that I wrote in public, if it came to light. If you're not willing to do that, you probably shouldn't be putting those opinions out in a public forum.


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