Thursday, 4 March 2010

Leaders' Debates

Televised 'leaders' debates are to go ahead and the 76 rules will be strictly adhered to by the broadcasters.

I am in agreement with Alan Schroeder who states, "Television by committee is never pretty; live television by committee is worse ad that's what this obsessively specific agreement reeks of'.

The Wardman Wire has his opinion 'How the Leaders' debates were quietly replaced'. Do have a read for yourself.

There is little enthusiasm within my group of friends for these televised debates so it would surprise me if many decided to watch any of them. Of course they are not aimed at my generation but floating voters and the young. Will they be of benefit to the electorate? I hae ma doots because they won't be debates but speeches. Pre-planned sound bites wrapped in political spin. Nothing new.


Hythlodaeus said...

Floating voters and the young aren't going to be watching them either.

The main audience for these will be the same as the audience for Question Time and the broadsheet newspapers - those who are political aware and who already know who they'll be voting for (or why they won't be voting).

subrosa said...

Auch Hythlodaeus, I was trying to drum up some viewers!!

I'll do a wee poll of friends over the next week or so and I expect you'll be right (as usual). :)

Surreptitious Evil said...

Regardless of whether these are "Prime Ministers' Debates" or "Leaders' Debates", I don't see how this gets around the requirement for impartiality and equal time exposure once the election is called.

It isn't "exposure proportionate to the number of candidates standing" or "to the bookies odds of the leader becoming Prime Minister". Is it? Section 6 of the Ofcom Code isn't specific.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

A whiff of Nurnbergh, or watching paint dry? I'll watch the paint.

I trust the Scots, Welsh and Ulster people register the respect they're held in and afforded by Westminster.

strapworld said...

Subrosa, I share your lack of enthusiasm for them. I expect people may watch the first and get bored pretty quickly.

How can they demand that the people attending do not clap etc? Who are these robots who will be picked? If they are anything like Question Time Audiences they will be loaded with left wing students who haven't grown whiskers (Tha is just the women!!) I live in Wales and last weeks QT was from Wales and I was amazed to discover, from the very young audience, that Wales is very left wing and totally supportive of the EU! I just could not believe it.

However my fear, and I am no supporter of Cameron, following this nonsense on Lord Ashcroft, is that these media people will have arranged a left wing (as they all appear to be)plot to trap Cameron someway or the other. I fear we are in the grip of something very worrying indeed. The standard of 'political' reporting on the BBC and SKY is quite disgraceful and there is, in my mind, a hidden hand guiding all of them, it must have been what living in a communist/facist country was like.

Truth. What is that?

Good luck Subrosa.

Clarinda said...

Perhaps a new twist on the remark by Groucho Marx -
'I don't care to belong to a club that has these three as members'.

Mr Salmond should perhaps be grateful that he is being regarded as a jabby thistle in the cheesy sock of unionism - I suspect he may be delighted to be exempt from this overhyped banter that will possibly do more to deflect even more votes to UKIP, national and independent candidates.

subrosa said...

I suspect he is in a way Clarinda, although I'm sure he relished the idea of showing off his debating style.

Yes I think it will backfire on them. We haven't heard much from UKIP about it. Mind you there's time or maybe UKIP can't get noticed by the MSM.

Clarinda said...

Subrosa - judging from the 76 rules there doesn't appear to be the oppotunity for robust debate - if I may ruin an old song:-

'76 house-rules led the big charade,
With 110 set answers close at hand,
They were watched by rows and rows of the finest unionists,
and the cream of ev'ry leftie band".

There's even a "rule" to ensure the candidates shake hands at the end, like good little bleaders.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Just a thought. But wouldn't it be an opportunity for an enterprising broadcaster to record the Westminster debate while simultaneously but separately, recording the positions adopted by the leaders of the three devolved parliaments?

That might breath a bit of life back into a can of worms.

And hasn't 'Evil' got a point on the impartiality question?

If it helps at all, I'll stand as an SNP candidate in Englandshire.

subrosa said...

Excellent Clarinda, the wonders of a good Scottish education!!

I read the 'rules' and they were touching - I'm sure you agree. One thing which passed my mind. At such events if one of the great and good has incontinence problems (due to the levels of excitement which will prevail), are they allowed 'time out' or will they be supplied with catheters beforehand?

Just a thought.

subrosa said...

I suspect that could be done but with broadcasters being presently mainly controlled by labour, I doubt if it would see the light of day RA.

Yes SE does have a point and as he says the rules are ambiguous.

I suggest you go for Geoff Hoon's seat. :)

Uncle Marvo said...

None of the "rules" apply to the "leaders" though, n'est-ce-pas?

I would like to see three more rules:

1. State what your Party will do, not what you think the others will do, otherwise you will forfeit a question.
2. Ad hominem attacks will get you thrown out of the studio.
3. Failure to answer what you have been asked, and only that, will have you lined up against the wall and shot.


Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Never been that way inclined Rosa; unless I led with the foot.

subrosa said...

Great idea Marvo. Now if we were a real democracy...

subrosa said...

On first reading I thought you'd typed boot RA. :)

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