11.9.08

may will get to play - so what?

careful boys - it’s been awhile, but a woman is coming to debate you. a smart and sassy one, at that.

elizabeth may being allowed into the debate is a communicator’s dream. but it may be a sort of hell for the comms strategists in the various party war rooms. no sooner were they in damage control mode for having shunned her in the first place, now they’re brainstorming about how to use her inclusion to their party’s advantage.

even before her foray into electoral politics, may had a reputation for being scrappy. now that her lobby for an official podium has surged both her campaign AND her confidence, she’s sure to arrive at the debates in full form. if she’s smart, though, may will play the thoughtful and intelligent leader to the others’ boy-club-as-usual brand of banter.

may could transform the debate into something palatable, giving the usual testosterone fest a real shake up. her presence - never mind performance - could add value to a pro forma exercise that typically turns more people off than on to the leaders and their prized electoral process. folks might actually watch this one.

may has a lot riding on this appearance. in addition to cramming as much platform and persuasion as she can into her allotted time, may will have to give layton a run for his money in terms of presenting an ‘alternative’ political choice, especially on those finer policy points that have average voters wondering how to tell the ndp and greens apart. and while all the leaders have big plans for pointed attacks on harper, they will now have the added noise of may to break through - noise she’ll direct at harper sharply and effectively, i suspect.

with the sarah palin factor in full effect down below, may will be watched with even keener eyes. at the risk of coming across as another ‘novelty’, she has to up the ante on substance in a way palin thus far has not. why? i’d like to believe that unlike our sheep-y neighbours to the south, we canadians are a scrutinizing bunch who prefer substance over style and purpose over pomp.

may is unlikely to break any important ground with her interventions on the economy, social policy, or even peace. her mettle will obviously be most tested on the environment. most canadians tend to believe that no federal party really gives a shit about planet earth. with this access to the mainstage, may has a golden opportunity to generate real, credible urgency about climate change and the environment. at the debates, she will no doubt save her best assault on the prime minister for the conservatives’ appalling record on the environment.

i’ll be tuning in with high hopes, organic popcorn in hand.

3 Comments:

Blogger JimBobby said...

Whooee! Good boogin', PamGal. I reckon yer on the money about who listens to Lizzie on stuff other than the environment. They do want to know whether the Greens got any depth, though. The idea of the Greens as a one issue party can be dispelled. I figger they will be, too.

I've met Elizabeth a coupla times and I think a lot of Canajuns is gonna be favourably impressed by what they see. You don't reckon Canajuns'll watch than glamourous Sarah gall inside of the gal I adore, Earth Mother Lizzie May, do you? Nah.

JB

12:41 AM  
Blogger Audra Williams said...

It's weird to me how many feminists are suddenly all about Elizabeth May (I'm not saying that YOU are!). She has gone on record as believing ‘no on in their right mind is for abortions’. Her party's policy on the issue says a lot of things about counseling, adoption, and the ‘health risks’ of abortion. It says nothing about increasing access to abortion services. It actually states that its goal is to make abortion ‘more rare’. The reality is that women outside of urban centres have very limited access to these services already.

6:28 PM  
Blogger JimBobby said...

Here's the policy straight from Vision Green:

"Green Party MPs will:

* Oppose any possible government move to diminish the right of a woman to a safe, legal abortion. We fully support a woman’s right to choose. We will also expand programmes in reproductive rights and education to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and expand supports for low-income mothers."

http://www.greenparty.ca/en/policy/visiongreen/partfour

10:09 PM  

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