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Friday, April 23, 2010

The Leaders Debate, Part 2

So last night it was Sky’s turn to host the leaders debate, with the theme being ‘International Affairs’. Thank god Sky aren’t hosting the other two debates, it reminded me why I don’t tend to watch Sky News.

First, given half the debate was about international issues, why was an issues such as Europe given barely ten minutes of airtime.  Surely this along with the military and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been the key area’s of focus.  Instead we get some inane question about the Pope.  What response were Sky and the person asking the question expecting, “homosexuality is wrong, as is contraception and I its not down to him and the Catholic church to worry about loads of their priests being paedophiles”?  Even if any of them did think this way, they are hardly going to say so in a live TV debate.  As for the moderator, why did he allow Gordon Brown to give answers on the economy when the questions bore no relation.

Given the various newspapers owned by Sky’s parent company, News International, have already declared their allegiance to the Tories, their impartiality was also in question.  Why did the moderator feel the need to bring up the stories that had appeared in the press that day about Nick Clegg, despite non of the questions or either of the other candidates bringing up the issue?  Why did the camera’s continually pan across the audience, once even focussing on a yawning spectator while Brown was talking, yet always seemed to focus on Cameron’s face?  They certainly did their best to help Cameron out, though to be fair he did a pretty good job on his own.

Gordon Brown still seems to be floundering, ignoring the issue in the question in favour of quoting endless statistics on unrelated matters.  Cameron was much stronger than before and had clearly learnt from the previous debate, even speaking sense at times while Nick Clegg put in another strong performance showing that there is a third option.

Two weeks to go until the big day, and one more debate next Thursday hosted by the BBC with the focus on the economy and everything still to play for.  For the first time in my life I actually feel my vote will count, despite living in such a large Labour majority. While I may not have much of a say in who my MP will be, my vote could impact on the future of our electoral system with things so close to call.  If things work out as one poll suggests, Labour could end up with the most seats (though no overall majority) but with few total votes nationwide than both the Tories and the Lib Dems, The next two weeks promise to be interesting if nothing else.

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