The thing I hate about TV party leader debates…

Or more precisely, the thing that gets me mildly agitated about debates as to whether there should be TV leader debates in the UK is the obsession some people display with US Presidential debates.

Yes, the US has televised election debates. But so do many other countries. Nor was the US first.

Even if you’re monolingual (and so only really consume information from English-speaking languages) and lazy (and so don’t get beyond the letter A when looking up countries), there is still Australia.

In other words: if you want to look at the impact of TV debates on election campaigns and political systems, why pick a country with massively different political and electoral systems from the UK rather than pick on one of the countries with much more similar systems?

And above all, why (as the BBC does) only mention the US as if the rest of world has no debates, doesn’t matter and doesn’t exist?

One response to “The thing I hate about TV party leader debates…”

  1. I agree that the focus is far too much on what happens in US politics. However, I do not see why politicians (in this case the party leaders) should ever turn down the opportunity to debate in public the policies that they believe are best for the country. If their ideas are perceived as being the best then they should triumph. Of course, the problem is that they need to be able to appeal to both emotional and intellectual responses. But strong public speakers, which I assume the leaders are, should be able to manage this. The strength of a politician’s conviction in terms of voter engagement really says quite a lot to the public. If the politician is not afraid to address the public then I think the electorate will have more conference in their opinion.

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