Tuesday, 22 December 2009

We should be included too! People deserve to know about all the candidates vying for their vote.

Yesterday a cunning ruse to hold US style televised leaders' debates was announced: TV viewers (ie most of us, really) will be treated to four and a half hours of policy announcements and platitudes from Gordon, Dave and Nick.

But in towns and cities like Brighton, Perth and Cardiff wannabe-MPs from other parties can, and will, receive substantially more votes than any of the 'big three' parties.

Here in Brighton and Hove its the voters wanting to learn more about the Green Party that will lose out from having the door closed on its leader, the MEP and Brighton Pavilion candidate Caroline Lucas. In some areas it's the SNP, in others UKIP, in still others Plaid Cymru.

Now it seems some of the smaller parties are preparing to take legal action over plans to exclude them from the  debates. They're beginning by taking detailed legal advice on whether such US-style debates break election rules.

Whatever the law says, it's clearly unfair to ask voters to choose between candidates when some - but not all - have benefited from massive media exposure.

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