This evening, Patrick Harvie will make history as the first Green MSP to take part in the BBC’s flagship Politics Show – Question Time. Whether ‘HarvMania’ will be unleashed as a direct result or the longed for appearance will be a damp squib remains to be seen but any belief that the Greens have ‘arrived’ as a main party in Scotland can quickly be dispelled with the mere fact that Patrick has been frozen out of the Holyrood leader debates, as blogged by James yesterday.

I hold a particularly strong belief that this is an unacceptable situation, and not just because Alex, Iain, Tavish and Annabel should be given their fair chance to say ‘I agree with Patrick’ over and over again.

An arbitrary selection of party leaders should not get a free electoral leg-up from the media. We saw last year with Nick Clegg the electrifying impact that a good performance at these debates can have on a campaign but what we don’t see so clearly is the unfair detrimental impact that exclusion causes to those who are unfairly left out. So, I have decided to see if good old-fashioned people power can result in a fifth podium being added to the BBC and STV stages.

I urge anyone that agrees with me that it is unfair for the Greens to be excluded from these debates, irrespective of the strength of that feeling, to sign this petition calling for Patrick Harvie to be included.

There is no reason why this should be a partisan issue either. Those that disagree with the Green party’s policies would, I am sure, respect their validity and the contribution that they provide to the overall pre-election debate. There is simply no reasonable explanation that I can think of to excuse keeping a current leader of the current Scottish Parliament outside of the leader debates in advance of the election for the next parliamentary term.

Almost a year ago the SNP asked its members and non-member sympathisers to fund a legal challenge to what Alex Salmond called an “outrage“ when the Nationalists were not included in the UK leader debate broadcasts. This time around the microphone is on the other lapel, it is the SNP who have made the cut along with Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives and it is the Scottish Green Party that is unfairly frozen out. I’m sure no-one will be mounting a legal challenge this time around but that same call for fairness is just as valid.

The Green slogan at the Westminster election was ‘Fair is worth fighting for’. That applies as much today with this petition as it did then.

Sign the petition, spread the word, tweet, join the campaign on Facebook and/or blog about it, put the pressure on the BBC and STV and let’s give Scotland the full political debate that we deserve.