I was setting up to shoot the obligatory family shot of Iain Benson - lawyer, christian, anti-abortion social conservative, and generally a guy who I disagree with about almost everything, when he asked if we were also going to do a nice family shot of Candidate X, local redneck yahoo who had recently made some rather unflattering and distinctly not worksafe public remarks about Iain being, um, an intellectual elitist - let's just go with that.
"We'll look into that," said nice progressive man.
"Could you look into it now?"asked Iain politely.
"For fuck's sake, Iain," says I, realizing he was actually going to refuse to be photographed unless his rival was included.
"Well wouldn't you say Candidate X has a legitimate constituency here that deserves the same consideration you're extending to me?"
Nice progressive man points out the other four candidates might not agree.
"That's ok," says Iain, "we'll call them up."
Look, I know how annoying this story is. Personally I never want another lesson in ethics or civics from a SoCon ever again but he was right : It isn't about the candidate and whether you like them or not or whether they would do the same for you; it's about their constituency, their supporters - whether you agree with them or not.
May has a constituency running at somewhere under 10% in the polls. I imagine by this time tomorrow the reaction to her being shut out of the leadership debate will have driven it a lot higher.
Losers in the leaders' debate : Harper, Layton, Duceppe. And because of their hypocritical anti-democratic actions, the rest of us too.
And while we're at it, how about taking final say on what happens in election debates out of the hands of the media!
"Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you're in favor of free speech, then you're in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise, you're not in favor of free speech." ~ Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent
We also have an obligation where elections are concerned to ensure that free speech is heard.