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Friday, April 16, 2010

The Leaders Debate, Part 1

So last night was the first of three debates between the leaders of the three main political parties in the run up to the general election.  Early indications are that Liberal Democrats leader, Nick Clegg, came off best with most polls then showing David Cameron second and current PM Gordon Brown last. 

In my last blog post I said how as an undecided voter I had tried to find out what each of main three parties were saying they would do if they win the election.  My findings were similar to what was said last night, with only the Lib Dems providing any detail of what they plan to do and more importantly how they will deliver it.

Brown was always going to be on the back foot. Labour have been in power for 13 years and as well as saying how they will sort out running the country in the future, Brown also had to defend what has happened in the past.  Clegg on the other hand had nothing to lose, no one expects the Lib Dems to come to power, so the worst that could happen from their point of view is to remain the third party.  Cameron however had plenty to lose, many see the Tory’s as potentially the next government.  Messing up in these debates could easily put an end to any ideas Cameron has on being Prime Minister.

Brown and Cameron seemed to get more airtime than Clegg, partly as they seemed to be trying to attack each others (lack of) policies and for the most part Clegg seemed happy to sit back and watch the other two dig their own holes.  Perhaps as a coalition government is a distinct possibility, neither Cameron or Brown wanted to attack Clegg as the Lib Dems could be needed to help form such a coalition.  Brown in fact said on multiple occasions he actually agreed with Clegg.

If Brown and Cameron want to do better, they need to up their game and start telling us what they will do and more importantly how, rather the using sound bites that sound good but have no substance.  Actions speak louder than words, so stop treating the British public like idiots.  Actions need to be taken and sacrifices made if the country is to move forward, so stop feeding us the nice fluffy stuff without telling us what sacrifices we need to make.  Low taxes and high public spending isn’t possible, income must be higher than spend if we can reduce the current deficit.

So, round one to Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats.  Round two is next week on Sky News and focus’s on international affairs, while round three is a week later on BBC1 and deals with economic affairs.

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