Leaders play political version of deal or no deal

 

Published Friday September 24th, 2010

By HEATHER MCLAUGHLIN
mclaughlin.heather@dailygleaner.com

Was there a deal or wasn't there?

Green party Leader Jack MacDougall said there was an agreement among the five parties fielding candidates in this provincial election that if all five weren't invited to the leaders' debates, none would participate.

 

"Fundamentally, there was a handshake agreement unanimously supported by the five parties ... so we talked about honesty. My word is good and yet they broke an all-party agreement," MacDougall said.

"We agreed that we wanted all leaders invited and to participate in order for any debate to take place ... We had a meeting specifically to deal with this CTV debate.

"I'm clearly telling you that we had an agreement and the agreement was broke. I think it was a crystallizing moment in this entire debate," MacDougall said. "We did that for all debates ... All three of them compromised their agreement to get on the Steve Murphy show. Their principles stopped at the point of mild inconvenience."

NDP campaign director Dominic Cardy said there was no deal.

"That's not true. In fact, the only time the five parties met together was at a planning meeting at CBC to talk about their debate," he said.

The only agreement was that after the CTV debate, there wouldn't be any further all-party debates.

The NDP did send a letter to CTV requesting that the Green party and the People's Alliance be invited to join the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP in the televised debate.

Liberal Leader Shawn Graham said they made the same suggestion to CTV to include all parties, but it wasn't their call and that the final decision on participants was up to the television network.

The debate's host, Halifax-based anchorman Steve Murphy, said that the criteria for invitations was to invite parties that have had elected members to the legislative assembly in the last or recent past elections. The Green party and newly-formed People's Alliance of New Brunswick were ruled out from the invitation list on that basis, Murphy said.

If they win seats in future, they'll be invited next time, he said.

Leader's Video Blog

Our Principles

> Non-Violence

A culture of cooperation, caring and understanding is essential to ending violence in our society. Rehabilitation rather than vengeance must be the goal of our justice system.

> Self-Determination and Citizenship

We must have the opportunity and the responsibility as citizens to contribute to the common good, which requires that all have the capacity to participate in community life.

> Social Justice and Equality

Everyone must have equal access to the necessities of life and be treated with dignity and respect. Treaties with First Nations must be honoured.

> Participatory Democracy

We must be able to participate in decisions that affect our lives and be guaranteed that our votes are reflected in the make-up of the Legislative Assembly.

> Local Self-Reliance

Our communities should be in control of their own destinies, supported by strong local economies, and sustained by local sources of food and renewable energy.

> Living within Our Ecological Means

We must live within the ecological limits of the Earth, while meeting our needs without threatening our children's future or the survival of other species.

Admin sign in