Author Topic: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates  (Read 864 times)

GM Corbin

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WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« on: March 11, 2015, 10:35:52 PM »
Week two was going to be another generic topic of discussion, but a recent series of news articles here in the UK have provided what I feel would be a great first topical discussion.

WEEK 2 -  Debating Debates

The Backstory:
The UK Media planned three televised debates across four networks: Two seven-party debates, one each on ITV & BBC, containing the seven biggest political parties, and then a head to head between the “major two parties” (Conservatives and Labour) joint broadcast on C4 & Sky.
The Prime Minister, leader of the Conservatives, rejected this, calling instead for one singular debate with eight parties involved.
Anyone not the Conservatives said that the one debate request was cowardly, leading to the Conservatives doing a “If you don't give us our way we won't turn up”.
The TV Broadcasters stand tall and say “We're doing the debates we planned, if you're not there, you're not there”.
As a result of this, Labour are considering making the debates part of the election law if they win, to prevent future messing around.

In a side-note, the original 7 includes:
“Big 3” - Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats
“Next Two” - UKIP,  Green Party
“Regional” - Plaid Cymru (Wales), Scottish National Party (Scotland)

The 8th suggested by the Conservative proposal is Northern Ireland's largest party, DUP, who are seeking legal action after being ignored by the BBC & ITV while the Welsh and Scottish national parties were invited.

The Questions/Topic:

Now, I know televised debates/speeches are common in the US and mainland Europe during the build up to the elections, including some multi-person debates, so there are probably plenty of interesting thoughts out there. I do, however, understand that the UK and US political systems widely differ in how the elections work, so this might equally fall flat... But...

What are your thoughts on political election debates. Should they be an enforced requirement? Or should they be open to the individual interests as to who, what and when?
And what level of inclusion should there be... Should nationally broadcast debates have participants relevant to only one area if they outstrip the major parties in their area in terms of support?

And the relevant links to the articles this is based off, all to BBC News articles:
Link 1 – Prime Minister calls for only one (not three) debate.
Link 2 – Accused of “running scared” and hits back.
Link 3 – TV stands firm

Don't forget, if you have a topic you'd like to suggest for a future discussion please PM it to me, along with any relevant links (e.g. for news items), with the subject line “Weekly Discussion Topic Suggestion”.
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GM Kirk

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Re: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 11:38:11 PM »
Political debates were never part of the election process in the UK until the last election, so making them required by law is ridiculous. In the UK, you're voting for your local representative, not the PM so national debates are pointless and just money spinners for the TV networks. Elections should be decided by the issues, not the personalities and debates are mostly style over substance... thus undermining the issues and turning general elections into popularity contests. The perfect example of this is the debate between Nixon and Kennedy.

I can see the merit of them in a system where you vote directly for the head of state, but not in the UK's political system where you vote for your local representative (who won't be at the debate).
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 11:44:14 PM by GM Kirk »

Reya Serra

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Re: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 01:48:55 AM »
Pretty sure time proved that Kennedy was a better President than Nixon though.

As for the debates, I think they should be more open and about as many of the pertinent issues as possible.  Not 2 minutes on 1 topic with a 30 second reply sort of stuff but not ongoing for eternity like the old Lincoln and Douglas debates went.  TV networks control the whole thing along with the political parties though so it's doubtful that that's going to happen unless both sides agree to make it happen.  A really good example of it I think are some of the debates they had on The West Wing, especially the one in Season 7 imo.

GM Pancho

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Re: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 02:35:38 AM »
Here's a debate I'll watch.  Each candidate has to drink a bottle of their prefered liquor.  Once properly sloshed for 1 hour they get hooked up to a lie detector machine and are forced to answer questions from the crowd.  Anyone who is against drinking is automatically excluded because if I can't drink with you i can't vote for you.

GM Kirk

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Re: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 03:13:42 AM »
Pretty sure time proved that Kennedy was a better President than Nixon though.

That could be a debate on its own. My point is that being good in front of the camera can win you a debate but doesn't mean someone is a good leader. If that's all it takes to lead a country, you might as well elect actors.

Reya Serra

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Re: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2015, 03:15:18 AM »
We DID elect an actor once.  Ronald Reagan.

Reya Serra

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Re: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2015, 03:16:55 AM »
Also I think Kennedy was both a good leader and good in front of a camera.  Nixon didn't really have either of those qualities.

GM Metroll

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Re: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2015, 09:50:11 AM »
It's a waste of time. Politics is partisan and even if I don't like my local candidate - the fact that I don't agree with any other party means I vote for said candidate. That one vote in the house/senate/whatever? doesn't really matter much and if we all voted for simply the person who would best serve us nothing would ever happen as these needs are diametrically opposed (if you want federal funding for something, that means someone else isn't going to get that money for something they want ...).

GM Powers

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Re: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2015, 04:50:56 PM »
A 2 party system is beyond broken. It doesn't matter who gets elected, because in the end Joe Citizen gets fucked in the ass dry, the only difference is the color of the dick that fucks 'em.


GM Corbin

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Re: WEEKLY DISCUSSION TOPIC #2 - Debating Debates
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2015, 08:43:47 PM »
A 2 party system is beyond broken. It doesn't matter who gets elected, because in the end Joe Citizen gets fucked in the ass dry, the only difference is the color of the dick that fucks 'em.

It doesn't get much better with multiple-parties.
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