Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mass Debate

This whole leaders' debate thing is silly.

First of all, it either shows or encourages a wilful ignorance of our electoral system. I can't be certain that the people who run ITV and Sky know how it works, but I'd have thought that the broadcaster with its own dedicated Parliament channel might be able to figure it out. A debate between the party leaders is all well and good, but the thing is, I'm not a constituent of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Witney, or Sheffield Hallam, so I'm not voting for any of these men, even if I wanted to. It's about policy, not personality; this isn't America.

(And what the heck is Sky doing showing one of these debates anyway, when they don't have nationwide coverage?)

The greater idiocy in all of this, perhaps, is the perpetuation of this nonsense about these debates being the first of their kind, as if there hasn't been at least one a week televised since at least 2000.

If the British people do not understand the electoral process, and it appears as if this is the case, then it's up to the public service broadcasters to educate them, not perpetuate the ignorance. Otherwise, this will be America.


  1. Was it such ridiculous? The home’s eyes may be correct. As for outer person, when I see sometimes UK's parliament debates through the BBC internet, I think "Wow!" For me they seem to have wits, absolutely. No Korean politician has something like that.;-)

  2. Although I won't be voting directly for these men (the party leaders) I will be voting for someone from one of their parties, and each party has its own manifesto that its members follow (give or take). I thought they did stick to policy - it's the media that then interprets their ticks, shrugs and charisma (or lack thereof). It was actually more worthwhile than I'd anticipated - though I was already aware of their manifestos in the main.

    Hello, by the way! (Haven't been in touch for a while :-))

  3. It was done purely because That's How They Do It In America, with a blind disregard for the differences in the two countries' electoral systems.

    However, I must admit that the first debate has had a fascinating, if unintended, effect in pushing Nick Clegg to the forefront. It is almost as if no one knew the Liberal Democrats existed before last week, and the change has been very interesting indeed. One TV appearance has turned them into a viable party, and it will make for a very interesting election.

  4. There's time enough for a Clegg-backlash (unfortunately).

  5. Indeed, but the very fact that a Clegg backlash is a possibility now is fascinating; before the debate no one would have bothered. It has put the other two main parties in an interesting position too, as they are no longer sniping only at each other, something they're really not very used to.

    Two weeks ago, there was a possibility of a hung parliament. Now that possibility likely remains, but is accompanied by a strong Liberal Democrat showing, which makes for two interesting alternate outcomes other than the usual Tory/Labour win.

  6. I've been frustrated for years that the Lib Dems weren't taken seriously. And seeing Gordon Brown laughing off Clegg's positive performance after the first debate was so irritating. Our local Lib Dem councillor (who I voted for in the last election) defected to the Tories a couple of weeks ago - feel totally betrayed by that.

    (Sorry - I'd decided to keep my political views off the internet during the election, but you allowed me a little outlet. Ha ha - thank you!)