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PM won't debate without the Greens! Watch

  • View Poll Results: Should the Green Party be part of the TV debates?
    Yes
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    No
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    (Original post by tengentoppa)
    You mean Biden right?
    :facepalm2:

    I think something to take from this mess is that broadcasters aren't the best people to be making this decision. Not sure who, maybe a cross party commission should be given a chance to come to agreement, perhaps with ground rules going into it (eg % of seats/votes etc), but there must be a better option than what's going on now.
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    (Original post by AstroNandos)
    I'm pretty sure that the Greens only have 1 MP where as UKIP have 2. Also, when did Nigel say he didn't want to be PM? Just wondering.
    He said it stacy and dom on channel 4 Greens have Jenny Jones who is pretty powerful member in parliament (& Caroline Lucas)I guess 2nd guy is pretty new.
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    (Original post by RK)
    Sadly not any more.

    UKIP have two MPs to the Greens 1. UKIP have more MEPs than the Greens (24 to 3). Even in councils, UKIP have about 370 councilors to the Greens 170.

    The only place I can see the Greens coming out on top is the fact they make up the largest party and form the minority administration in Brighton and Hove, where as UKIP don't come close to such a position anywhere.
    True don't think UKIP will get position due to their racy viewpoints.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    That's not a concern.

    Assuming you have criteria such as the party has to be standing in all seats or at least a large proportion of them, because the mathematics of FPTP begins to produce unacceptably spurious electoral results when you have more than about five nationwide parties, if you end up with more than five people on the rostrum you probably have bigger fish to fry re the electoral system than how many people are in the debates.

    What's not a concern? The SNP's bully tactics or who takes part in the debate?

    I'm assuming the latter from the remainder of your contribution.

    The question specifically concerned the issue of who should be allowed to take part in the TV debate.

    I objected to the inclusion of the SNP or the Greens on the grounds that too many participants would render the debates a nonsense. There are 12 different parties with seats in Parliament. Including 12 different parties in the debate would be ridiculous and no one would be able to get a word in edgewise. I presume you don't disagree with this?

    The Lib Dems have the third highest number of seats with 57, next would be the DUP, who are fourth with 8 seats. That disparity is so large as to make the top three a logical choice for who takes part. This is all the more true when you consider that the SNP are fifth with 6 seats, and would justifiably ask why the DUP are allowed in when they have only two less, and then the sixth party would complain, etc... etc...

    However legitimate your complaints about FPTP may or may not be, the fact remains that you have to draw a line somewhere when deciding who takes part in these debates. It might be unfair and arbitrary to choose the three with the most seats, but unless someone has a fair and equally practical solution to suggest, I see no better way.
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    I have ended up believing that there needs to be either more TV debates with more party leaders or no TV debates at all. All I can say is that I do not agree with the current system.

    However, I do want them in the debates purely because it offers a left option/more of a left stance than Labour (depending where you think Labour stands).

    Also, approximately 75%+ want them in the TV debates, and the media work somewhat for audience views so surely the viewing figures should rise? Don't see why they'd be so set against it (unless there's ulterior motives, dun dun dunnnn).
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    The Greens have had an MP for the entire parliament, elected as a Green. One could very easily make the argument that she has more constitutional legitimacy than two defectors to UKIP.

    Otherwise, what does this suggest? That the threshold should be two MPs but not one? Talk about self-serving...
    The UKIP MPs were still re-elected after defecting, they're still legitimate MPs. Also, despite only having one more MP than greens, I think UKIP are more popular and will gain more MPs in the general election so UKIP should still be part of the debates even if the Greens for some reason weren't (I do think that the Green Party should still be part of the debates though).
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    (Original post by Louis.)
    :facepalm2:

    I think something to take from this mess is that broadcasters aren't the best people to be making this decision. Not sure who, maybe a cross party commission should be given a chance to come to agreement, perhaps with ground rules going into it (eg % of seats/votes etc), but there must be a better option than what's going on now.

    Totally agree with that. It's outrageous to have broadcasters deciding when they have a vested interest in making a more confrontational debate occur to boost their ratings. That's not even considering their own political leanings, something we might be very concerned about given the fact that Rupert Murdoch owns Sky and the BBC are frequently accused of displaying a left wing bias.

    As I've already said I object to having any TV debates, but, since they seem inevitable, lets at least conduct them properly and have an impartial body overseeing their organisation.
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    (Original post by B-FJL3)
    What's not a concern? The SNP's bully tactics or who takes part in the debate?

    I'm assuming the latter from the remainder of your contribution.

    The question specifically concerned the issue of who should be allowed to take part in the TV debate.

    I objected to the inclusion of the SNP or the Greens on the grounds that too many participants would render the debates a nonsense. There are 12 different parties with seats in Parliament. Including 12 different parties in the debate would be ridiculous and no one would be able to get a word in edgewise. I presume you don't disagree with this?

    The Lib Dems have the third highest number of seats with 57, next would be the DUP, who are fourth with 8 seats. That disparity is so large as to make the top three a logical choice for who takes part. This is all the more true when you consider that the SNP are fifth with 6 seats, and would justifiably ask why the DUP are allowed in when they have only two less, and then the sixth party would complain, etc... etc...

    However legitimate your complaints about FPTP may or may not be, the fact remains that you have to draw a line somewhere when deciding who takes part in these debates. It might be unfair and arbitrary to choose the three with the most seats, but unless someone has a fair and equally practical solution to suggest, I see no better way.
    I accept and understand all of your concerns. Personally I think the best solution should be as follows.

    1. Minimum number of seats in which the party is standing. Arbitrary limit; 10% or thereabouts might be a good guideline, afaik that is usually the vote share threshold for representation in PR countries, about what you would call a "significant minority" and it would give the SNP or putative regional English parties a fighting chance of gaining entry.

    2. Standing in seats in more than one UK country. This (combined with #1) gets rid of all the Northern Irish and Respect at a stroke, and (on its own) the Greens (on a technicality; their England & Wales/Scotland parties are separate) and the SNP. However, if the Greens merged again, or the SNP stood in Berwick, they would get in. You might impose a minimum number of seats in each country.

    3. Has a sitting MP.

    As I said, FPTP means more than about five nationwide parties standing in every seat is electorally untenable: if a seat winner's vote share goes as low as the twenties with any frequency we would have to change the whole system anyway. The above criteria are meant to operationalise this so the system is somewhat self-limiting as to how many can take part, while still allowing small parties a decent bite at the cherry. In my view it is functional without being arbitrary or stifling.

    My second, more pragmatic option would be for say three or four large parties with one small party getting a look in per debate. So you would use the peripatetic element of the debates and have say a debate with the SNP in Edinburgh, Plaid Cymru in Cardiff, Green in England 1 and UKIP in England 2. But this is to me arbitrary, tokenistic, kludgey and completely inapplicable to Northern Ireland - so basically the usual British constitutional solution.
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    (Original post by AstroNandos)

    The UKIP MPs were still re-elected after defecting, they're still legitimate MPs. Also, despite only having one more MP than greens, I think UKIP are more popular and will gain more MPs in the general election so UKIP should still be part of the debates even if the Greens for some reason weren't (I do think that the Green Party should still be part of the debates though).
    Yes, I know, but at any rate she is at least as legitimate as them.

    What would render the UKIP MPs illegitimate would be to base the debates on the state of play at the beginning of the previous Parliament. This might be an important practical consideration if an MP is the only criterion, and a lot of sitting MPs began to defect as independents or to form some tinpot new party (see also George Galloway), even if elected in a by-election.

    To answer to your "more popular/will gain more MPs" comment, I would say poll ratings (even more so media-derived guesses) have no constitutional reality and thus should not be a criterion. Polls are produced by unaccountable private companies according to often flawed or skewed methodologies. The respondents are often not giving the same responses they would if actually in the voting booth. And polls can be manipulated to favour a particular party. To use polls to decide electoral realities like who gets to be in the debates would increase chicanery and bias and ultimately discredit the trustworthiness of the polls.
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    (Original post by OhJustSomeGuy)
    Are we part of the UK or not? The SNP could quite easily be the 3rd biggest party come may
    Like Salmond, Sturgeon and most other nationalists, you need to get your head out of your arse. You probably won't be third, you'll probably be fourth, and that doesn't make you relevant anywhere but Scotland. The SNP only stands in 59 seats, that's not even 10%, the SNP stands in fewer seats than the Lib Dems currently have. Yes, the SNP will gain seats, yes, the Lib Dems will lose seats, but neither will be significant enough to make the SNP the third party.

    You are only relevant to 8% of the electorate, ALL the parties present in the leader debates have somebody standing in at least the vast majority of seats (even Buckingham for UKIP). The thing is, Plaid Cymru is in a similar position to the SNP as far as seats in the UK HoC goes they aren't having a little hissy fit in the corner for not being invited BECAUSE THEY AREN'T STUCK UP THEIR OWN ARSES. Sinn Fein are in an even stronger position, but they aren't crying over not being invited, although tbh it's not that surprising.

    Of the three regional parties that want independence, within their nation the SNP is the weakest, out of the three they're the only one that's kicking and shouting and making everything about them.

    The only part of the UK that really gives a **** about the SNP (or Plaid Cymru or Sinn Fein [and other nationalist factions]) are Scotland (and Wales and NI respectively); consequently if they want to be in a debate it should be restricted to their own part of the country. The 3 (4) main parties on the other hand, and even the Greens, are in every part of the country, well, not really NI but that's a whole different ball game, ergo it is reasonable for a debate between them to be broadcast to the entire nation.
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    Genius move by the Tory's. For those who don't see it, lol.
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    (Original post by IBBOOM)
    Genius move by the Tory's. For those who don't see it, lol.
    It's a very bad move on their behalf.
    Everyone knows Cameron doesn't really care or even care at all about the Greens, it's one of the most obvious smoke screens.

    He knows he can only really lose in the debate (as any incumbent could) and is looking for a way out as he knows the Greens will not be included.

    He argued that any party in the commons should be represented. Well in that case you have to include George Galloway, SNP, Plaid, DUP, SInn Fein, oh and the Speaker..

    In 2010 he was all too keen for these debates.
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    (Original post by She-Ra)
    Cameron has claimed that he will not take part in the live debates planned in the run up to election unless the Green Party are also included.

    BBC have quoted Cameron as saying that he would be "quite happy for there to be no debates at all" during the campaign. ..

    What's the reasoning behind the PM not wanting to take part?
    For the first, he knows that the Greens are very unlikely to take more votes from the Tories than from Labour or the LibDems.

    For the second, he knows that he has the most to lose in a TV debate.

    For the third, he's what a previous Tory leader would have called 'frit'.

    The Greens may be right that not including them is unfair, but there's very little that's fair about UK elections. They could get double what they're polling and still count themselves lucky to get one MP.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    It's a very bad move on their behalf.
    Everyone knows Cameron doesn't really care or even care at all about the Greens, it's one of the most obvious smoke screens.

    He knows he can only really lose in the debate (as any incumbent could) and is looking for a way out as he knows the Greens will not be included.

    He argued that any party in the commons should be represented. Well in that case you have to include George Galloway, SNP, Plaid, DUP, SInn Fein, oh and the Speaker..

    In 2010 he was all too keen for these debates.
    You don't see it, it is not my concern to provide explanation.
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    It's as others have said, really. Cameron doesn't love the thought of leaders debates whilst defending a reputation, and having the Greens on would split a Lab vote.
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    I do agree with the idea that i'd like to see one debate of just Cameron v Milliband as one of those will be our Prime Minister.
    I actually think the chances are Ed would come out on top. Cameron often gets very flustered during debates and resorts to cheap digs/bully tactics. These are okay in the Commons where he has all the backbenchers roaring him on but on national tv, he'll look silly. I also think while Cameron is the better speech maker, Ed is far better at debates and at Q&A.

    Cameron can't really win, these debates as mentioned always favour the underdog.
    I also question the effect of the debates. Everyone went on about Nick Clegg and how well he did last time yet the Lib Dems actually lost seats.
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    they have my love although I wish they were more pro smoking
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    You've got to admit though, David Cameron's pretty smart. I don't like the man or 90% of his policies, but he's a smart cookie. In one night he's made himself look good and may possibly make Labour and UKIP look bad (with both Miliband and Farage attacking him and calling him a coward). If he destroys them in debate, it'll look terrible on both of them.
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    This is a win-win situation for Cameron. If the Greens are in the debates then left-wing votes will be leaked from Labour and the Liberal Democrats. If they aren't the debates won't happen and Farage will be starved of the publicity he so desperately wants.

    And I really can't see the broadcasters empty chairing the debates, they would be pretty pointless without one of the two potential PMs.
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    (Original post by jenhasdreams)
    Yes they definitely deserve to be involved - they're polling similar numbers to Lib Dems at the moment.

    I'm sure David Cameron has an ulterior motive though, he's not just saying it for reasons of fairness - he wants Labour voters to move to Greens and split the left vote.
    Let's be honest, that isn't a bad thing. It might mean the Tories get in once more, but no doubt eventually the left wing will rack up enough votes by the next election (if the next Tory government would be anything like this one). There needs to be far more choice - the right wing have UKIP, the left wing need the Greens (because Labour suck ****).
 
 
 
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