Thoughts turn to the 2015 general election TV debates

The Guardian reports:

Some senior cabinet members want to limit the number of TV debates in the next election campaign to just one, but they are likely to face a counter-offer from Channel 4 that there should be four debates: two during the campaign itself and two in the months before the election, due to be called in June 2015.

Discussions between the parties and the broadcasters are likely to start soon with initial feelers being put out by the broadcasters.

There is cross party concern, but by no means a consensus that the three debates held during the concentrated three weeks of the campaign made the whole campaign focus excessively on the leaders’ performance in the TV debates, in the run up to the debates and then lengthy post debate analysis.

Some cabinet members feel this focus on the leaders’ debating techniques squeezed any focused analysis of the broader party policy prospectus on other issues.

What format would you like to see at the next election?

3 responses to “Thoughts turn to the 2015 general election TV debates”

  1. I'd like to see not just debates, but actual prime time fact checking of manifesto promises, of how the party intends to deliver them. It'd be far more informative for each party to have it's 5 main policy points taken, and for the parties to have to evidence their stance in terms of costings, or actual process to see them through.

    Debates ultimately hide a lack of any thinking on policy behind ad hominem and spin. We desperately need something that can help expose that facade.

  2. I like Channel 4's idea of two debates before the campaign, in fact I'd go further and perhaps do three in the run-up and just one during the campaign. More space means that there is more opportunity to put the three leaders under pressure about policies and promises, rather than just debate performance.

  3. Hit enter too quickly. I'd also like each debate to be a different format. Not sure exactly what without thinking about it more, but perhaps one 'town hall' with questions from general public in audience. Another 'crowd-sourced' with questions from internet and voted on for most popular, but most popular only revealed in real-time on the night. Then an 'expert' audience firing questions e.g. academics, think tanks, campaign groups etc.

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