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South Shields premier political blog

The Leaders’ Debate

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Sky News Sign the petition.

Yes our elections have become more presidential over the years, the party leaders grab the attention, the media circus follows them around the country as they parade their arguments and policies in the newspapers and TV stations, huge advertising campaigns are launched, and the party political broadcast suffers remote control button meltdown.

We only need the full blown presidential styled leaders’ debate to just about round it off (as well as an internet based fund raising event) and then the circle will just about be completed. We’ve never had such an event in the UK, for one reason or another there has never been a full agreement by the party leaders to engage in a televised debate, and one of the reasons cited in the past has been the inability to find a wholly impartial host to chair the debate. The Times reports today that the veteran broadcaster Sir David Frost is  being lined up as a possibility, and that meetings have been held in Westminster between party representatives to discuss a debate and the rules that must surround it.

Now Adam Boulton at Sky News has waded in with a campaign to put pressure on David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and Gordon Brown to accede to the media demands for what could become a prime time political bun fight of epic proportions. One of the ideas that I’ve read suggests a debate over three courses, like a half decent meal, night one might concentrate on domestic policy and the economy, night two on defence and foreign policy, and night three a town hall meeting free for all with members of the public invited to pose the questions, now if this isn’t sounding completely American then they’ve gone down the wrong path.

Personally I’d welcome it, for once we may see the party leaders pressured by an independent chairman and the public to actually give straight answers to straight questions, something which the Prime Minister for instance fails to do during PMQs in The House of Commons. I’d also like to see a return to  old fashioned town hall debates in the constituencies between the candidates, as a reminder that we are electing individual representatives to the Commons, and not a “President”. If we are to see a return to a more engaging political process then I view this as almost a necessity and something which will reinforce the Britishness of the electoral process. I can already imagine the candidates bellowing into a microphone from the steps of the Old Town Hall in South Shields’ Market Place as shoppers try to get out of Wilkinsons, I’m sure that it’s all happened before of course, in an age when people took their politics a little more seriously, before “the line” was doctored and spoon fed to television, radio, and newspapers.

If you’d like to see the three main party leaders “get it on” then why not sign Sky’s petition – here.

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Written by curly

September 2, 2009 at 10:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] This post was Twitted by Curly15 […]

    Twitted by Curly15

    September 2, 2009 at 11:03 am

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