Layton Urged to Support May's TV debates Inclusion by NOW Magazine

Jim Harris

The Editor and CEO of NOW Magazine is urging Jack Layton to argue for Elizabeth May's inclusion in the televised leaders debates.

Now Magazine is the largest circulation weekly free newspaper in Toronto. In this week's issue (Dec 20-26) Editor and CEO Alice Klein in a two page article criticizes the NDP's partisanship and proposes that it work with the Green Party and Liberals to ensure Harper’s defeat.

Now has traditionally supported the NDP and this strong article is the first ever I’ve seen from the paper’s management recognizing the central role the Green Party is playing and will play in the upcoming federal election. Quoting from the article:

“Desperate to carve out turf for himself, Layton’s old-school, highly partisan approach during this government session has led to a serious loss of credibility. Take the Liberal- and Bloc-supported motion last spring that would have set an actual deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

Layton’s refusal to support that motion on the grounds of a too-long timeline was bizarre to any but the most ultra-left. If not for the NDP’s votes, our troops would right now be preparing to come home in early 2009.

Throwing his vote with Harper, Layton gave the impression that he would rather score debating points against the Liberals than get anything important done.”

Towards the end of the article Klein writes:

“Here’s a politically painless example of how Layton could start laying down some new inter-party architecture and go beyond the alienating partisanship we’ve seen too often. He could make it known right away that he supports May’s right to participate in the leaders’ debate. She’s earned it personally and at the polls. Democracy demands it.”