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Newmarket Chamber of Commerce Blocks Candidate from Election Debate

In a surprise move, the Town’s Chamber of Commerce has blocked Dorian Baxter from the federal election debate on 6 October 2015 on the grounds that his Progressive Canadian Party does not have enough support to warrant his inclusion.

A new rule brought in by the Chamber of Commerce says

“a political party needs to have representation in the House of Commons/Provincial Legislature or proven popular support in the country/province of at least 5 per cent of the popular vote in the polls to be invited to the debate. Other candidates may participate at an open house portion of a debate with a display table.”

At the last Federal Election in 2011 Baxter came 5th of out of 6 in Newmarket-Aurora with 998 votes, 1.71% of the total. The high water mark for Baxter was in the 2004 general election when he got 2.1% of the vote in Newmarket-Aurora.

The Party’s election results show it bumping along at the bottom, never getting anywhere near the 5% threshold set by the Chamber of Commerce.

Personally, I hope the Chamber thinks again about excluding the Progressive Canadian candidate. His politics are not everyone’s cup of tea – he wants to “revisit capital punishment with the view of the punishment must fit the crime” – but his theatrical performances on stage liven things up.

On 10 September – after the social policy hustings at Trinity United Church in Park Avenue – I ask him how he stays so cheerful when he always comes last in elections. Looking me in the eye and shaking my hand he says: “Paul, I never lose a debate.”

"Paul" certainly has a more biblical ring to it than my own name and he is mortified when I correct him.

Dorian Baxter is a one-off. He adds to the gaiety of the nation. (Or would do in the vanishingly remote possibility that he might be elected.)

The Federal Election debate will be held at Newmarket Theatre on 6 October 2015 from 7pm til 9.00pm with an open house from 6pm – 7pm where all candidates will be available to meet the public from 6pm.

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Update on 21 September 2015: Baxter tells the Era newspaper he is outraged.

Update on 22 September 2015. The Rev Baxter is very, very angry!!!  Phew!!! What Next?!!!

AN OPEN LETTER: Hello Debra:
 
I was most surprised not to have received your promised phone call today! Having just discovered your e-mail response I thought I should respond right away.
 
I find your intransigence to be very disappointing and obfuscated! 
 
You speak in vague generalities and appear to have little or no understanding of seriousness of your actions and the actions of those who have purportedly helped you make this dastardly decision against democracy!!!
 
Democracy denied is democracy destroyed!!! 
 
Remarkably, and I believe to your shame, your decision to "Deny Democracy" is a decision to deny and denigrate the supreme sacrifice made by our Allied Forces in the Second World War!
 
I find it utterly repugnant that you and your purported cohorts (who remain strangely anonymous) glibly state that you can do whatever you like because it is your debate! 
 
 You appear quite content to ignore the democratic rights of the members of this constituency and those democratic principles for which our armed forces laid down their lives because you say, there are other debates that have decided to be democratic and the implication is simply that this means you don't have to be democratic!!!
 
Not only do I believe this to be wrong but I believe that it presents as an impious design to erode the democratic process in Canada in the most obscene and insidious manner!!!
 
Failure to correct this bizarre turn of events can and will only bring serious doubt upon the integrity and character of the Newmarket Chamber! 
 
In the words of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King,"It is always the right time to do what is right!!!" Debra, you and your alleged cohorts need to "do what is right"!!!
 
I will be asking the remaining four candidates to boycott your undemocratic debate if you and your purported cohorts do not relent as it sets a very dangerous precedent that undermines everything democratic that Canada stands for!!! I can be reached on my personal mobile phone at (289) 221-2687.
 
Respectfully Submitted,
 
Dorian A. Baxter
B.A., O.T.C., M.Div.
PC Party President, and Progressive Canadian Party Candidate for Newmarket/Aurora

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