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OP-ED: Nova Scotia’s media excluding Atlantica, Green parties


By Jonathan G. Dean Some media outlets are excluding the Atlantica Party and/or the Green Party from leadership debates, forums and other coverage.

At the Atlantica Party we have also encountered exclusions based solely on our policies or perceptions of our policies; certain people in the media are actively working against the party in a biased and unprofessional way. Time to speak out.

The Party understands and respects the media responsibility to present full and fair coverage to the electors – a sacred responsibility that greatly impacts our democracy. It is completely up to you how to manage your election coverage and we support this absolutely. But here is some information to help you make that decision.

The new parties are NOT fly-by-night operations unworthy of exposure. The process of forming a political party in Nova Scotia is onerous (unlike other jurisdictions). Our volunteers spent months going door to door in the signature campaign required by Elections NS. An association needs to formally exist, ongoing financial statements must be prepared and blessed by independent auditors to meet Elections NS’s stringent reporting requirements; all within the framework of the extensive Elections Act. Funds are needed, organization, IT, AGMs, social media, policy formation, memberships, candidate support, executives, volunteers and thousands of supporters; a major commitment of time, resources and personal.

Each political party in Nova Scotia is a formidable achievement, each worthy of respect. I would argue the greater share of respect is due the newer parties for they have the steepest slope to climb. The status-quo parties exist on sheer momentum while both the Atlantica Party and the Green Party exist due to the strenuous efforts of its members to present an interesting alternative viewpoint (with more information content).

We are as much a party as any of the status-quo parties and worthy of the same respect!

With four or five (or more) choices on a ballot how is covering only some of the choices helpful to viewers or readers? And doesn’t that create the idea that some choices are ‘better’ than others? Hardly full and fair coverage.

If you dismiss us because ‘we will not form government’ remember minority governments often occur with new parties sometimes holding the balance, so showcasing the newer parties is vital.

The Atlantica Party is a brand-new party less than a year old with 15 great candidates running on common sense policies. Something never achieved here in Nova Scotia! Isn’t that worthy of coverage?

Our experience is the status-quo is threatened by our ideas and fears open and free discussion with us. We trust Nova Scotia’s media, mindful of their sacred responsibilities to full and fair coverage, will not exclude us based on any threats of non-participation, real or implied, by the status-quo parties.

You should allow all parties to stand or fall based on their ideas. And in the interests of full disclosure if you do choose to exclude someone please publicly articulate the fact and the reasons why. 

 

Jonathan G. Dean is leader of the Atlantica Party

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