The Elizabeth May Debate Solution

Green Party leader Elizabeth May is being excluded from the April 12 leaders' debate, but there's still a way for the party's voice to be heard.

Elizabeth May, Green Party
Although she’s excluded from the April 12th debate, Elizabeth May can find a bounty of attention by leveraging social media.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May is being excluded from the April 12 leaders’ debate, but there’s still a way for the party’s voice to be heard.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May has been barred from participating in the upcoming leaders’ debate on April 12. Many reasons were given for her exclusion, but the foremost was that she is not an elected member of Parliament. Kermit the Frog was right: it ain’t easy being green.

The last leaders’ debate in October 2008 – in which Ms. May participated – drew three million viewers. This means that roughly 21 per cent of the nearly 14 million voters in the 2008 election watched the debate. An audience of this size presents a huge growth opportunity for the Green Party.

But this April 12, Ms. May will be without an audience. What can she do? Her solution is the Internet.

12 Steps to a Green Party Debate Broadcast

1. On debate night, hold a rally on Vancouver Island. Pack the house with supporters.

2. Invite the media; they will show up. National media have news-starved local correspondents all over the country.

3. Show the debate on big screens and film the crowd’s reactions to the other leaders’ debate answers.

4. Write down the moderator’s questions throughout the debate.

5. When the televised debate is over, it’s Ms. May’s time to shine!

6. Flip on a Livestream or Ustream account and get ready to broadcast Ms. May’s 30-minute debate response.

7. Begin with a strong opening statement. Leave ample time for supporters to react with thunderous applause.

8. Have a celebrity moderator (ahem, Rick Mercer) ask Ms. May the debate questions. He was supportive of the Green party’s inclusion in the debate, tweeting on March 30, “Let Elizabeth May in the debate. She’s the vinegar that brightens up the vegetables.” As we all know, tweets are legally binding, so drag Mercer out to the Island.

9. Finish with a closing statement and watch the crowd go wild.

10. After the live stream, put the footage on Youtube and send the link out through social media. Upload the video in high def so that media outlets can broadcast it on their news programs.

11. Create a second Youtube video that splices in comments from Green Party supporters, and footage of the crowd reacting to the other leaders’ and Ms. May’s debate responses.

12. The media will want to talk to Ms. May, and now she can focus on her debate responses as opposed to reminding folks that her party was left out of the debate.

There you have it – Elizabeth May has her say, and the Green Party gains media attention while showing Canadians they find ways to get things done. Quite frankly, that would be more than any federal government has done in the last 20 years.