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Leaders' Debate

(14 Posts)
peenakholahda Mon 15-May-17 20:32:57

Can I ask for views on TM declining to take part in a televised debate?

As far as I can tell, her position is that:
a) the electorate aren't interested in watching politicians debate each other
and b) she thinks it's more important to take questions 'from the people'

Have I understood that correctly, or is there an angle I've missed?

I'm interested in others' perspectives because I'd really like to see a debate - I think it's a helpful way to compare and contrast politicians' positions on any one issue.

And also because I don't understand why participating in a televised debate and engaging with voters directly have to be mutually exclusive activities. Why can't she do both?

PurpleDaisies Mon 15-May-17 20:35:57

She can only lose if she takes part in a debate. It's a political decision not to take part rather than be based on actual concern for voters.

ScarlettFreestone Mon 15-May-17 20:37:00

She doesn't want to do it because she doesn't think she'll win.

cdtaylornats Mon 15-May-17 20:41:42

I've watched several debates since they started being a thing and have been unimpressed every time. It's an American idea and perfect for personality politics. If we want issue driven politics then they are bad.

lucydogz Mon 15-May-17 20:59:29

I see no need for televised debates. Aside from this, I don't believe that TM comes across well on TV, but that doesn't matter to me in the slightest, as I don't think it's important. I bet Churchill, Gladstone and Atlee would all have done badly as well.

IrregularCommentary Mon 15-May-17 21:10:24

She won't do it because she's really poor in debate.

Politically, she has lots to lose and nothing to gain by taking part.

caitlinohara Tue 16-May-17 09:17:01

Exactly - she doesn't need to do it. I'm not sure how valuable they are anyway. Didn't Nick Clegg do rather well in the televised debates a few years ago? Didn't work out too well for him did it?

senua Tue 16-May-17 09:22:11

I don't like personality politics. We are voting for parties, MPs and Cabinets, not Presidents. I want politicians to do the day-to-day job, not go down the Blair route of 'rock star' appeal.

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 16-May-17 09:24:36

She doesn't need to do it. Corbyn has also decided not to do it.

OdinsLoveChild Tue 16-May-17 09:26:43

I hate political debates. They're just televised slanging matches and nothing is actually gained from them. I used to watch the news about the American debates and think how awful they were. We don't need to get into that sort of cat fight on tv for a person to put across what they believe and think. I don't know anyone who thinks its better to stand up and hurl insults at someone else over reading a well written statement outlining their thoughts. It's a bit bizarre to me hmm

If you want to know what each party offers then go and read about it.

peenakholahda Tue 16-May-17 19:21:15

While I agree that the televised debates can be a bit lairy and personality-driven, and they wouldn't be my first choice as an information source about the election, I do think they've got value.

The televised debates brought the last election to life to a lot of people who'd felt very 'out' of the political world, I think. People who didn't necessarily know what a manifesto was, or how you'd search for one, or what to Google, or the names of the different parties - having the debate on TV was an 'in'.

The debates were massively successful for Clegg at that point, weren't they? The LDs had been pretty obscure and suddenly he was shining on camera, and the result ultimately reflected that. How likely is it they'd have held the cards on a coalition deal without the debates...?

ExplodedCloud Tue 16-May-17 19:24:24

I suspect the Lib Dems might not have gone into the debates so cheerfully had they known the long term effects of Nick Clegg's popularity in 2010!

PigletWasPoohsFriend Tue 16-May-17 19:26:36

The debates were massively successful for Clegg at that point, weren't they?

In 2010 yes. Not really 2015 though.

caitlinohara Tue 16-May-17 21:31:11

Nick Clegg was on the Daily Politics today and was utterly charming as always. He comes across really well on TV. Very few politicians have that skill, and actually none of the current leaders have it. I am planning to go to my local hustings though.

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