The following was sent on April 10, 2014 to various executives and producers for stations that regularly host the Ontario provincial televised Leaders Debates
I’m writing today to request that Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party of Ontario, be included in the televised Leaders’ debates in the upcoming provincial election. One of the cornerstones of democracy is an informed electorate, and voters have the right to hear from all major parties on issues that matter to them.
In the 2007 general election, 354,897 Ontarians voted Green, and another 126,021 did so in 2011. In most democratic systems around the world, these numbers would result in seats in the legislature. In our first-past-the-post system, some voters get more than their fair say, and some get less.
The Green Party has run a full slate of candidates since 2007, and has persistently polled between 5 and 10% in the last two years.
Even without formal representation, our members and supporters have affected public policy and social change through the means available to them, such as petitions, letters, and earned media. Their voices and views should be heard by Ontarians before voters make the important decision of where to put their confidence in the next election.
In 2008, Elizabeth May was initially excluded from the nationally televised Leaders’ debate. Because of the ensuing public outcry — and because two of the three other leaders of national parties belatedly added their endorsement of her participation — she was included in the debates. The resulting dialogue was richer and more rewarding for voters than it otherwise would have been.
There is no other party in Ontario without a seat in the legislature that can claim the support from the people of Ontario that the Green Party has. The evidence is concrete and empirical. I trust you will act with integrity and reason and allow the Green Party’s voice to be heard.
Provincial Campaign Chair