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Three debates for Australia? A political resolution beckons

Opinion by Ray D’Cruz The Liberal Party of Australia has called on the Australian Labor Party to participate in three televised leaders’ debates in the upcoming election. The call highlights, yet again, the need for a genuinely independent debates commission to decide how many debates, who debates and how the debate is conducted. An independent … Continue reading

Did it really matter, in the end? The UK election debate wrap

Opinion by Ray D’Cruz The dust has settled on both the 2010 UK election and the first series of televised leaders’ debates, begging some questions: Were the debates worthwhile? Did they matter, in the end? What should be done differently next time? Are there lessons for other countries? Were the debates worthwhile? Undeniably, yes. In … Continue reading

UK election debate epilogue

Opinion by Neill Harvey-Smith By the end of April, the Liberal Democrats had broken through to a consistent 30% in opinion polls on the back of the third impressive performance by their leader, Nick Clegg. The Guardian published an interview on Friday April 30th in which he claimed the election was a “two-horse race” between his party … Continue reading

Coaching the speakers: strategies for the second UK leaders’ debate

Opinion by Ray D’Cruz We learnt a lot from the first leaders’ debate: Gordon Brown is pretty good at avoiding discussions about the past. David Cameron either doesn’t like arguing or still doesn’t know why he should be PM. Nick Clegg likes to rise above it all. None of the speakers really want to debate, … Continue reading

Brown, Cameron & Clegg: expectations and goals for the televised debates

Opinion by Andy Hume One of the strengths of the coverage at Election Debates is that these debates will be adjudicated by experienced judges from other countries, not just the UK, with few if any preconceived opinions of the men they are listening to. The domestic media narrative, by contrast, will be shaped to a … Continue reading

Election date set as leaders prepare for historic debates

Opinion by Andy Hume This year’s UK General Election will be the first to feature televised debates between the leaders of the three main parties Election Debates will be covering all three debates, which are slated for Thursday 15th, 22nd and 29th April 2010, and inviting a range of experienced adjudicators from across the political … Continue reading

Election Debates’ experts on the UK debate rules

We asked Election Debate experts for some brief observations about the 76-point plan for UK leader debates, agreed by parties and producers earlier this week. Read the 76-point programme format here. Tommy Tonner: This is a ridiculous format which tries badly to import a presidential style debate into a parliamentary system. Two main objections, the … Continue reading

Memo Britain: Be Yourself

Opinion by Ray D’Cruz The Guardian reports some concerning news about the upcoming UK leaders’ debates: Britain’s first televised debates between party leaders are in danger of being “negotiated to death”, according to senior party sources. One senior figure close to the talks said there was a danger that all spontaneity was being drained out … Continue reading

Who should ask the questions in the UK leaders’ debates?

Opinion by Ray D’Cruz One question being addressed by some political commentators in Britain is just who should be asking the questions in the three leaders’ debates.  There are four potential questioners, so far as I can see: The candidates The public The moderator  A panel of journalists Candidates In the UK debates, candidates should … Continue reading

Designing Britain’s leaders’ debate

Opinion by Ray D’Cruz Britain will have three leaders’ debates, plus a host of other election debates for the 2010 general election. The deal was struck between party and television station representatives. In anticipation of Britain moving into the televised election debate area, Election Debates has previously commented that the governance of such debates should … Continue reading