I am a bit surprised by Harpers position. The Greens and the Liberals do not have the same policies even on the environment. The Greens had a higher grade than the Liberals on the Sierra Club score card. You would think that the Conservatives would be happy that the Green party will siphon off some Liberal votes which would work to the Conservative advantage. I expect that Harper worries that the Green party would provide a trenchant critique of the Conservative environmental policies. This is from the CBC.
Letting Green leader into debates 'unfair'
Last Updated: Monday, September 8, 2008 1:30 PM ET CBC News
Letting Green Party Leader Elizabeth May participate in federal leaders' debates ahead of the October election would be "fundamentally unfair," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday.
Harper said he would withhold judgment on the decision by a consortium of television networks whether to include the Green Party leader in the two debates to be held in French and English. The decision could come as early as Monday afternoon.
The prime minister said his Conservatives did not view May's potential presence as a strategic issue, as the Greens "do not split our vote."
But he said letting May into the debate would be in essence allowing a second Liberal candidate to participate in the debate — in an apparent reference to the Liberals' decision not to field a candidate in the riding in which May is running.
"Elizabeth May is not an opponent of Stéphane Dion," Harper said. "She is his candidate in Central Nova, and I think it would be fundamentally unfair to have two candidates who are essentially running on the same platform in the debate," Harper said at a campaign event in Richmond, B.C.
He also said he expected May to endorse the Liberal party before the end of the campaign.
PM's allegations 'absurd': May
In an interview with CBC News in Ottawa on Monday following the prime minister's appearance, May said Harper's allegations were "absurd" and "would be funny if they weren't so annoying."
"Of course, I am not, most explicitly, not the Liberal candidate for Central Nova," May said. "We do take votes from Conservatives and that's what he's afraid of."
If their demand to be included in the debate is rejected, the Greens have said they will lodge a complaint with Canada's broadcasting regulator, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, and might launch a court challenge.
But May said she didn't believe it would come to that.
"I don't for a moment imagine I won't be included," May said.