No Greens, No Party

cameron grimace

Vert de peur ? Le premier ministre britannique David Cameron semble embarrassé à l’idée de participer aux traditionnels débats de la General Election l’opposant aux représentants des autres formations politiques. David Cameron a en effet annoncé que sa présence aux débats télévisés serait conditionnée à celle d’un parti plus minoritaire, le Green party.

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General elections always provide viewers with fierce debates between the major parties. However, the next one could be an unprecedented exception because of David Cameron.

The broadcast regulator (Ofcom) has discarded the Greens from the TV debates, raising the ire of the Prime Minister while the Greens threatened to take legal action. “The media regulator has failed to grasp the fast-moving, fluid state of British politics today, and that fact that voters are seeking out the choice of real change”, Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Greens, said, insisting on the support received from the young. According to some polls, the Greens may be ahead of the Liberal Democrats. They launched a petition which gathered 275,000 signatures.

Natalie BennettGreen Party leader Natalie Bennett

Cameron threatened to boycott the debate if the Greens are ruled out and said he would be “quite happy for there to be no debate at all”. He considers that Ukip and the Greens should be treated equally given their common status as a minor party. The Greens have always been ahead of Ukip in General Elections but Ukip is indeed a growing power with excellent results in last Euro-elections. The reaction of Cameron appears first and foremost as a political move.

Cameron didn’t like the place of the debates during the last General Election and he fears a confrontation with Ed Miliband. Besides, he didn’t particularly shine during the Scottish Referendum against Alex Salmond, a confrontation which has left many scars.

Cameron has been criticized by a lot of people including Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage who compared the current PM with a “chicken running scared”. Farage even suggested to hold the debates “without the chicken”.

The final decision on the presence of the Greens will be taken in March. Another debate that includes the Greens could be held by a consortium composed of several newspapers and Youtube. The media obviously have a huge effect on the vote but to avoid the debate in order to defend a minor party seems very hypocritical. Is the issue really a lack of coverage or a lack of courage?

Anthony BIZI & Nicolas CAULT

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