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Bullshit & Ignorance

Election Debate

Last night saw the first ever live televised debate between leaders of the UK’s three largest political parties (Nick Clegg – Liberal Democrats, David Cameron – Conservatives, Gordon Brown – New Labour) as part of the lead up to the May 12 General Election. It’s an idea the Americans have used for some time and despite the rather tacky set and constant sense that Robert Killroy or Jeremy Kyle were about to leap up from the audience, it was rather fascinating to watch.

All three men seemed nervous at the outset, but Brown and Cameron settled quickly as the debate got under way. For a little while, Nick Clegg looked like he was fighting out of his weight class. He remained a little jittery while Brown and Cameron began to speak confidently and fluently in response to the questions posed to them by audience members. I have to say, I was somewhat saddened by that, as while Clegg seemed out of his depth, what he did say struck a chord with me. He seemed the most genuine, less interested in taking cheap shots at his rivals and more interested in explaining the Liberal Democrats’ position on the issues, what they would do and perhaps more importantly how they were going to achieve their goals. I was pleased therefore to see Mr. Clegg growing in confidence as the debate moved on. His body language relaxed and with it his oratory rapidly began to match and often surpass that of his rivals.

When all was said and done, Nick Clegg walked away from that debate with a whole heap more political kudos than he began with. I’m of the opinion he won the debate and according to the various polls following it, including the ITV poll of 4000 voters that followed directly afterwards, most other people share my opinion. I think it’s fair to say that Brown as the incumbent had most to lose going into the debate. He had to defend thirteen years of Labour Government during a time of significant economic upheaval and while our armed forces are engaged in unpopular wars in the middle east. It was never going to be an easy task, but to his credit he fought his corner well; he emerged battered but far from beaten. David Cameron on the other hand had very little to lose and everything to gain. Expectations were high and while he performed adequately, I don’t feel he lived up to those expectations.

There are two more debates to follow. I will be watching with great interest.

Comments (0) | Politics — King[Fu] @ 09:23 on April 16, 2010

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