Televised election debates will open the floodgates of litigation
There are pros and cons to this development, all of which are now a heated topic of fierce debate on all the political blogs.
But Cranmer is a little bemused.
In the United Kingdom, we have a party of government and an official opposition. The leader of one of these parties will be the next prime minister.
Nick Clegg may have produced the best Christmas card, but he does not have a cat in hell's chance of being the next prime minister.
So why is he granted three debates along with the Prime Minister and the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition?
And since he has been granted such, why not the leaders of the DUP, the UUP, the SDLP, Plaid Cymru and the SNP?
Or Sinn Féin?
For they too will be contesting seats in their respective corners of the Kingdom.
And if these, why not UKIP, since they came a very respectable second in the recent Euro-elections?
And if UKIP, why not the Greens, since they also have councillors and assembly members?
And if the Greens, why not the BNP?
And don't the English Democrats now have a mayor?
And what about the Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern?
And are not José Manuel Barroso or His Excellency Herman Van Rompuy of rather more political significance than any of these minnows at the next general election?
What exactly are the broadcasting criteria for deciding which political leaders are granted the (bountiful) gift of airtime to espouse their policies to the electorate? There is no precedent; there are no statutory guidelines.
By including Nick Clegg, the broadcasters have now left themselves vulnerable to a series of legal challenges. And a protracted and diversionary judicial review of televised political debate in the UK is the last thing our democracy needs.