By Iago ap Steffan
Well as everyone probably knows the starting gun for the ‘leaders’ debates’ has been taken. We saw our first leaders’ debates Thursday; held by ITV in Manchester with an audience who live in England only (same rules apply to the Sky and BBC Leaders' Debates to come). Now I for one did not watch the debate. Why? Well because Wales was not represented. Not only was Plaid not able to take part, but as I have read, Wales was not mentioned and most of the topics were issues only to do with England.
Now, Nick Clegg might have won the debate, which has affected the polls not only on a UK level, but here in Wales. The Lib Dems have doubled their poll rating; this is the reason why we have been asking for a voice in the UK debates. What we can be proud about is that of the Sky News Welsh Leaders’ Debate, where Ieuan Wyn Jones had won the popular vote; 55% of those polled http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/04/19/viewers-rate-plaid-cymru-leader-ieuan-wyn-jones-top-in-welsh-party-leaders-debate-91466-26268472/. I look forward to what people think of the ITV Welsh debates tonight. We must also praise the hard work of our candidates on the BBC Welsh debates, Peter Ryder in Delyn and Heledd Fychan for Mongomeryshire, who both done extremely well and gained a great reception from the studio audience. Keep up the good work.
The English media have said that this is because Plaid Cymru are not putting up candidates all over the UK; well neither are the Lib Dems or Labour who have no candidates in Northern Ireland; also if this is the case where is the Green Party and, God-forbid, UKIP? If these are Prime Ministerial debates, why is Nick Clegg there? No-one believes that he will be the next PM, not even the Lib Dems themselves. Plaid Cymru and the SNP are in government in both Wales and Scotland, whereas the Conservatives and Lib Dems are not in ANY national government. The people of Wales and Scotland are yet again ignored by the EBC (English Broadcasting Corporation), ETV (not ITV) and ESKYB (instead of British Sky Broadcasting). We need a stronger voice.
Due to the undemocratic state that we unfortunately live in today, when other European nations have reformed their systems, this is now the time to fight and work harder than ever before to make sure Wales has Plaid MPs to represent our corner of this island. We have key seats all over Wales and we need to make sure that all of us, our friends and family too, get ourselves out there and help campaign to ensure Plaid win. We can't be complacent, we all have to work hard and who knows maybe we will win more than just our key seats. If you support Wales, support Plaid, the only party that will put you and your nation first and look after those most vulnerable in our society.