Excluding candidates from forums wrong

If there had been 10 candidates we could have understood it.

If there had been 10 candidates we could have understood it.

After all, we’ve been to all-candidates meetings and debates for the municipal elections where there are so many candidates and voices that it’s very difficult to for anyone to say anything of substance without your meeting stretching to days.

But at the debate on energy hosted by the Victoria chapter of the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association and the Dogwood Initiative there ended up only being three candidates, with one left to sit in the audience.

And that’s not right any more than it was right that Elizabeth May was excluded from the nationally-televised Globe and Mail debate for the party leaders.

Sure, everyone understands that Alastair Haythornthwaite, running for the Marxist-Leninist Party, is likely not going to win the vote on Oct. 19.

But then again, all but one of the others are going to ultimately be unsuccessful in their bid for election too, that’s how the system works.

It doesn’t mean that we don’t want to hear from them.

All of them.

It was particularly tough to stomach from a night where the Conservative candidate did not attend.

Surely it would have been simple to allow Haythornthwaite to take Martin Barker’s empty chair?

The teddy bear is cute and all, but we guarantee Haythornthwaite had more of substance to say than the stuffie.

It seems undemocratic to decide in advance that a particular candidate won’t have anything worthwhile to contribute.

But there’s a reason each candidate has decided to run and they should have the chance to tell the public about it.

The argument that they didn’t want to waste people’s time with repetition and too many people doesn’t hold water.

It was planned as a four-person debate, and had Haythornthwaite been allowed to take part it would have been exactly that.

It’s troubling how much of this kind of thing we’re seeing this election campaign.

Silencing voices and different points of view is the antithesis of democracy.

Facebook strikes again: Maria Manna out

We learned this week that Liberal candidate Maria Manna has dropped out of the federal election race and is being replaced by Luke Krayenhoff, who will now fly the Liberal banner. Old Facebook postings have been used during this campaign to make more than Manna squirm, as people are confronted with statements made many months or even years ago. How do you feel about the digging up of old social media postings that may embarrass candidates?