There are many people who believe we shouldn’t have debates at all in Britain, because we don’t have a presidential system and we vote for our local MP yada, yada. I am not one of those, people rarely vote based entirely on local issues and the local plans of the MP candidates, I know I won’t be, people vote the party that best represents their views or that they believes best for the country as a whole, and as people vote for parties rather than candidates, I believe it’s important for the party leaders to outline and challenge those visions in debates. Now we first had debates in 2010, when UK politics was very different, there were 3 clear main parties and these were the 3 participants in the debates. This year the 3 broadcasters submitted 3 entirely different proposals originally because politics has profoundly changed since then, BBC stuck to the old format, C4/Sky went for a straight head to head between Cameron and Miliband and ITV went for the old big 3 plus media darling Farage. Everyone got a little upset by these Clegg wanted to be included in all debates, but come on like anyone would notice if he didn’t turn up, no the real story was that Cameron refused to participate if the Greens weren’t included, why?, well it wasn’t because he sympathizes with the lack of media attention the Greens traditionally get, nope it was because if he has to compete with Farage, Red Ed must compete with Natalie Bennett, once upon a time he’d of been competing with Nick, but alas that was a long forgotten time, when party leaders resigned after failure. So after this the call was for the broadcasters to call Cameron’s bluff and have an “empty chair” (there was no chairs at the 2010 debates but hey ho). I disagreed with that however because as a potential Green voter myself I believe they should be at the debates they are a national party after all and are outpolling the Lib Dems. I think a 5 party solution would have been fine and if not then, the only other option is C4 option of a straight head to head because whatever happens with the election either Miliband or Cameron will be the PM. However the broadcasters have elected to throw out both those suggestions and suggest frankly ludicrous 7, yes seven-way debates with Con, Lab, Lib Dem, UKIP, Greens, SNP and Plaid. This is absolutely stupid they will be too many people on stage, it’ll be a free for all and if order is maintained, it’s a 2 hour debate so each leader will have 17.1mins to talk that’s not very long. More importantly the inclusion of the SNP and Plaid Cymru, is stupid as they are not national parties they don’t field candidates outside Scotland and Wales respectively, I cannot vote for either, and neither can the majority of the country there is no real legitimate reason for them to be included in these debates. I heard Nicola Sturgeon say on the news it’s because the SNP may hold the balance of power, so?, I still can’t vote for them, hearing their policies in the debates is completely irrelevant. I have no problem with holding separate Scot and Wales debates where all the relevant stakeholders can be included. The inclusion of those 2 parties also opens the door for others particularly the DUP in NI, who would have a legitimate claim as they have more MPs than SNP, that’d make an 8 way debate, where does it end? There is only 2 formats that these debates should follow, the classic presidential option with Miliband and Cameron or the 5 person option with the 5 UK-wide parties, 7 makes no sense whatsoever.

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