by Hub staff

"Anti-democratic." That is what Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound NDP candidate David McLaren called MP Larry Miller's refusal to participate in all-candidates' debates. "It is not merely un-democratic, but anti-democratic to evade a public discussion of the important issues," said McLaren in a phone interview on his way to a speaking engagement.

McLaren was responding to Miller's media release explaining why he had turned down an invitation by the Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce to a televised all candidates meeting on October 1. In the release Miller said this has been his position since the 2011 election, because of "political games" and the lack of opportunity for one-on-one questions from voters.

McLaren says it is important for people to hear all the candidates discussing their understanding of the election issues – the economy, budget, foreign affairs and health care. "This open conversation, in front of the people, is democracy."

Harper too, says McLaren, is avoiding the really hard questions, by limiting media access and refusing televised debates except on networks not accessible to everyone in Canada.
"How will we know where the leaders stand? People are looking around for a place to put their vote.
They need to hear the parties challenging each other's views," said McLaren.

"I will debate Larry Miller anywhere, any time."