Canadians Got It Right. The Media Moguls Got It Wrong!
CPS Election Analysis 2008 - Week 3
September 14, 2008

The attempt of the brain trusts of the major parties and a few corporate media executives to stage a televised federal election debate without Green Party Leader Elizabeth May failed. Public outrage at the attempt to exclude May from the leader’s debate forced media moguls to climb down from their elitist perch and make room for May to participate.
Stephen Harper threatened not to turn up if May was included. Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe loftily agreed that if Harper didn’t show, neither would they. Layton and Duceppe, handed the opportunity to slam Harper’s arrogance, call his bluff and stand up for democracy and women’s equality, dropped the ball. Dion made points at their expense.
The strategy of media corporate executives to stage manage federal elections is deliberate. Networks receive billions to sell the main “political brands”. Party strategists want exposure not controversy.
Imbedded journalists hob-knobbing with leaders on corporate jets reporting on trivia coupled with facile self-promoting pundits endlessly interviewing one another is marketed by networks as “informed opinion.”
There is a growing public revolt against election campaigns as media events.
The May incident points to the need for inclusion. All parties must be allocated prime time television exposure. The format can be discussed but the principle must be upheld.