Why on earth do we need televised debates between leaders of political parties?
Think about it! Less than 0.02% of the population are actually able to vote for any of the people involved in the debate! We all know what they are going to say because we've heard it before, ad nauseam. All they ever do is blame each other for the state of the country and spout the old, familiar party propaganda – always trimmed to the most simplistic sound-bites possible, all carefully engineered to try to attract the populist vote. Were told that the TV debates are intended to “engage” the public in the political process – but this kind of posturing charade is precisely what turns voters off and what brings politics and politicians into disrepute.
Elections should be fair! Every candidate should have the same chance to get his/her viewpoint across. Every candidate should have the same amount of exposure and publicity. If we really want to have fair and genuinely democratic elections, then why can’t the BBC record a public debate in every constituency – involving all the candidates in that constituency? With today’s technology, these recorded debates could be made available on a designated election channel in such a way that voters could view their own local debate as often as they like and at any time during the weeks prior to the election. That way, we could all assess the qualities, views and policies of those candidates for whom we are actually able to vote.
Disenchantment and disengagement with politics, politicians and the political process are major problems in today’s society – and the media (including the BBC) are as much to blame for this as the politicians themselves. It’s time for a new kind of politics!