The past few weeks have witnessed an ever -increasing clamour from those calling for the Green Party to be included in the 2015 General Election debates. But these calls are more to do with political preferences, rather than logical thinking.
I am in no way prejudiced against the Green party; I just believe that, primarily, as they are not going to field candidates nationwide, the party should not be included in nationwide TV debates.
Let us be clear; the Green Party are a viable alternative for many who are disillusioned with the current positions of the other main parties, as well as possessing policies which a considerable number of people find attractive. But the fact of the matter is that you could include the Respect Party, or, by extension, even the disgusting BNP, with that assessment. But what ties these parties together is their lack of national representation.
There are those who make the argument that it is somehow anti-democratic to not include a party with an MP in Parliament. If we used this line of argument, the list of parties that we would have to include in the debates that are currently not included are as follows: The Green Party, the DUP, Sinn Fein, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, the Alliance Party, the Respect Party and one independent candidate. If all or even a few of those listed were included, the debates would become messy affairs with no proper argument.
What these parties have in common is that they did not field anywhere approaching 650 candidates in the 2010 election, nor will they do so in the 2015 election. Indeed, the Greens hope to include, at a push, candidates in ‘3 out of 4’ seats. UKIP, on the other hand, who have often been used as justification for appeals for the Greens to be included, are fielding candidates in every seat in the 2015 election – a nationwide representation. How is it viable to suggest that a party should be included in a national television debate when significant portions of the country will not be able to vote for that party? The answer is that it isn’t.
So, why else are so many people suddenly clamouring for the inclusion of the Greens?
Certainly a dislike for UKIP is a factor, but those claiming that it is anti-democratic for them to be included only have to take a look at recent opinion polling. You just have to take a look at numerous opinion polls to see that UKIP is comfortably the third party. However, excluding freak outliers, the Green party remain well behind the ever-unpopular Lib Dems. One may then point to the results of the European elections from earlier this year as support for their argument. Whilst it is true that the Greens had approximately 200,000 more votes and two MEPs more than the Lib Dems, on that basis, why was it not ‘undemocratic’ not to include the repulsive BNP, who won nearly 1 million votes and 2 MEP’s in the 2009 European elections, in the 2010 debates? It seems that political preferences have got in the way of ‘democracy’.
I can hear those who are reading this article pointing out that the Greens gained more votes in the 2014 elections than the Liberal Democrats, and should be included on that basis. Well, first: it seems that the same people who are downplaying the importance of the European elections when addressing UKIP’s rise are using this to argue the Greens’ way into the TV debates – you can’t be selective about results and importance, you either accept the election, or not at all! Second, the Liberal Democrats are a party of Government, to exclude them would be ridiculous.
This issue is much greater than the results of one opinion poll, which is most likely an anomaly, and selective conclusions being drawn from one election.
Four people shouting at each other is already enough!