Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Leader's Debate

A friend sent me this post from the Independent who head line was:

'Sun' censored poll that showed support for Lib Dems

She rasised the issue tongue in cheek as a tutorial/essay question :

Does the state of the "free" press in the UK help or hinder democracy?

I would say it does both - the inverted commas on the clue to the answer you have to know what side of the political debate the"free" press in question is coming from.

I read the piece and the YouGov report must have had the champagne corks popping in Liberal Democratic HQ as they now seem to be a real party with possibility of having a say in Government. And all because of one TV debate.

I understand that for sometime the two main parties fought against the TV debate as the party in power would always be the loser: in this country Governments lose election - Oppositions don’t win them. Governments run out of steam, of favour, of credibility - all the Opposition need do is wait…….

So why should the Government in power have a TV debate to hasten their demise?

And there is certainly no reason to include a third, smaller party as putting them on the same stage as the big two would only increase their stature disproportionatel to their actual poltical power , thus the Liberals never got a look in, it has always been a stitch-up between Labour and Tory so, there was no debate.

When the TV debate did eventaully happen as it has in this current election it for filled the worse night mares of both Tory and Labour. They now have another adversary to contend with. In the past they could work on the principle my enemy’s enemy is my friend and block the Liberals, the TV debate opened the curtains on this cosy cartel and the Liberal leader was able to take centre stage along with Labour and Conservative leaders – creating a visual level playing field despite the fact the Liberal had only 63 MPs compared to Labour’s 345 and Conservative’s 193.

Maybe if their screen size allocated to each Leader was proportionate to their the number of MPs they had perhaps this might have been fairer, like Jonathan Yoe’s picture of the Leaders in the 2001 election Proportional Representation

The debate is a great step forward for Democracy in the UK this is the “free media” helping Democracy….the next step is for the Politicians and the Public to embrace the Internet – bypassing the “free media” - and make it the powerful instrument of change as has in America, where the individual thru the Internet is personally politically inspired and empowered…perhaps at the next election?

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