Joe Biden, Elizabeth May.

One Percent U.S. Debate Criteria: Joe Biden, Marco Rubio Included, Yet Elizabeth May Excluded In Canada

If Vice President Joe Biden announces his presidential candidacy, he would be welcome at the first Democratic Party debate, scheduled for October 13 at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel. The event is hosted by CNN, who has recently announced their eligibility requirements.

So long as candidates have officially declared their candidacy and they qualify under the U.S. constitution, the only real limiting factor is that they hold at least 1 percent in recognized national polls.

According to most recent Canadian polls, compiled by CBC, the Canadian Green Party currently commands 4.7 percent of voter support nationally. Green Party Leader and MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands, Elizabeth May, is projected by Three Hundred Eight to have a 92 percent chance of retaking her home riding.

Canada’s electoral system differs from the United States in that citizens vote for local candidates, most of whom belong to national parties. The party that wins the most seats in Canadian Parliament names the prime minister.

Elizabeth May, Joe Biden.
Canadian MP and Green Party Leader, Elizabeth May.

In the United States, Joe Biden is estimated by Real Clear Politics to hold 20.0 of Democratic voter favor, and he hasn’t even officially announced his candidacy. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders are reported to hold 40.8 and 27.6 percent of voter support respectively.

Polls suggest that if Joe Biden were to announce his candidacy, he would likely draw votes away from Hillary Clinton, as reported by the Inquisitr.

Joe Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly today and was reported as seeming very “presidential,” according to CNN.

“I’ve traveled, as of today, 992,894 miles for the President. I’ve met with virtually every major leader in the world. I know these guys. I know them better than anybody in the administration, because I’ve been hanging around so long,” Biden stated to a gathering of community leaders in Florida.

Elizabeth May, with her Green Party’s 4.7 percent polling, would easily qualify for the Canadian debates if they were held under the same rules that CNN employs, which would allow Vice President Biden to participate if he announces his candidacy. Yet, May has been excluded from the two largest debates in Canada leading up to the October 2015 elections: The September 17 Globe and Mail Debate and the Munk Debates, held on September 28. Only the top three party leaders were invited, ensuring that not a single woman, minority, or political outsider was permitted to voice their opinion.

And even though Joe Biden has not yet announced his candidacy, he is polling well in the United States. U.S. voters have also had the chance to hear from women presidential candidates like Carly Fiorina, as reported by the Inquisitr. U.S. voters, while certainly familiar with Hillary Clinton, will have the chance to see her debate Bernie Sanders, and potentially Joe Biden, in October.

Marco Rubio, Joe Biden.
U.S. Republican Presidential candidate, Marco Rubio.

The list of Republican presidential hopefuls is long. Donald Trump holds 23.4 percent of polls, Ben Carson holds 17.0 percent, and Carly Fiorina holds 11.6 percent, also according to Real Clear Politics. There are currently seven Republicans who hold between one and 10 percent of polls in the United States: Rubio, Bush, Cruz, Kasich, Christie, Hucakabee, and Paul.

Leaving Elizabeth May out of Canadian debates can be seen as a very similar situation to leaving any of these names out of U.S. debates. Any one of them could surge and take a leadership role. However, if they were left out of debates, as May has been, their chances would likely be much lower.

In an effort to combat her exclusion and make her Green Party’s platform known, Elizabeth May has taken to live-tweeting her responses to debate questions, in real time. Some of these tweets are included here. Visit May’s Twitter feed for the full list.

May’s efforts have resulted in the Green Party clearly communicating its policies of environmental wisdom, social justice, and representation of voters by members of parliament in the Canadian House of Commons, while those invited to formal debates postured and talked over each other.

“There are many different issues that bring us here tonight: extreme poverty, climate change, standing up for women and girls,” Joe Biden recently stated at the Global Citizen Festival. “But, while each of these concerns are distinct, there’s a deeper truth and that is all of them are strands of a fabric of our common humanity.”

Given these words, it would be difficult to imagine Vice President Joe Biden being aware of Elizabeth May’s exclusion from the Canadian political conversation and seeing it as anything but an affront to democracy, as a close to 80 percent of Canadians do, according to the Ottawa Citizen.

[Joe Biden Photo by Theo Wargo / Getty Images for Global Citizen — Elizabeth May Screenshot Courtesy Green Party of Canada — Marco Rubio Photo by Win McNamee / Getty Images]

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