Green Party Leader Elizabeth May dominates debate on Twitter
Michael Shulman, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, September 17, 2015 6:27PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 17, 2015 10:50PM EDT
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was not in attendance at the Globe and Mail's leader debate in Calgary on Thursday, but on Twitter she may have come out on top.
May used the social media platform to answer the same questions faced by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper at the Globe and Mail leader debate.
Twitter filmed May's responses, retorts and fact-checks in a Victoria church and then posted them online.
In total, May's video posts received 14,000 retweets and favourites, and she gained 3,900 new followers.
May's account also received the most mentions on Twitter at the beginning of the debate, topping Trudeau by more than 2,000.
In an appearance on CTV's Power Play earlier on Thursday, May criticized the diversity of the debate.
"(I am) participating at some distance, but perhaps we can make our way into the old boys club yet," May said in an appearance on CTV's Power Play earlier on Thursday.
She continued to mock the makeup of event on Twitter.
Mulcair, Harper and Trudeau were invited to by the Globe and Mail to Calgary's Stampede Park to discuss economic issues.
Twitter's Steve Ladurantaye helped May even the playing field and get her voice heard online alongside the other leaders.
The idea was to reach Canadians who are watching the debate, while simultaneously looking online for instant analysis.
And May also used the stage to promote Green Party policies.
Before the debate, May didn't shy away from taking jabs at the Globe and Mail event, which she called a "bogus, corporate, private debate."
Despite May's exclusion, Sean Humphrey, the Globe and Mail's vice-president of marketing, has defended the debate's format.
May has also been left off the podium at the Munk Debates on foreign policy in Toronto and a French-language debate on TVA.
The Green Party Leader criticized Harper and Mulcair for their plans to skip the traditional televised leader's debate, which is scheduled for Oct. 7.
"I think (the Globe and Mail debate) is a way for providing some cover for Stephen Harper for refusing to attend the real debate," said May.
Harper said he won't participate in the English-language debate, which is organized by a consortium of broadcasters, including CTV, but will participate in a French one.
Mulcair said he will sit on the sidelines unless Harper takes part.
With files from The Canadian Press