Yes to General Election Party Leader debates – but why do we have to have Nick Clegg as well?

The news that there are to be three live televised debates between the Party Leaders during the General Election campaign is both welcome and exciting (in that it will undoubtedly be a pivotal feature of the campaign).  It is also ground-breaking – similar debates will now be a key feature in all future General Elections.

But why has it been agreed that Nick Clegg has to be part of the line-up?

The public will want to see a debate between the two individuals who may emerge as Prime Minister.  They will want to hear exchanges between the two and get a clear understanding of what they would be like leading the nation.  What possible relevance will there be to have a man there who stands absolutely no chance of being Prime Minister once the votes are counted?

If the Liberal Democrat wet dream of a hung Parliament is achieved, even then, the most likely result will be a minority government led by one of the other two Party Leaders.

And if there was to be a coalition after the election (and we really are into teenage fantasy-land here), then the most he can hope for – given that the only viable choice for a Liberal Democrat in a Great Office of State would be Vince Cable at the Treasury – is an honorific title like Lord Privy Seal (cue picture of an ermine-clad toilet with an acquatic animal sitting on it).

So we are being offered a debate between the two people who may become Prime Minister and a third person who might just under very limited circumstances hold a minor cabinet office (albeit with a pompous title).

What’s it going to do to the debate?   Well, it can be guaranteed to hold up the flow, while he pretends to be Cameron-lite one moment and then a more radical voice than Labour the next.

The danger is that instead of  a moment when across the country millions of people will be glued to their TV sets, informing themselves prior to exercising their democratic choice, instead they’ll get this guy they’ve never heard of, posturing widely, desperately trying to differentiate himself from the two main Prime Ministerial contenders, …. and they’ll turn off.

So, if there’s a low turnout, I’ll know who to blame.

13 thoughts on “Yes to General Election Party Leader debates – but why do we have to have Nick Clegg as well?”

  1. I hear the appearance of fairness, and deluded notions of what democracy is necessitate the involvement of the second tory candidate in at least one of the “debates”

    GB vs Chameleon twice and one with all 3 surely likely?

    3 two way battles might suit Labour best imho, Clegg and Chameleon’s prattle would have to be on first so it could be torn apart in subsequent debates though.

    The logical position GB took from the start of this proposal that he and Chameleon shld Not be joined by Clegg would do Clegg a lot of good I fear if he was excluded.

  2. If there’s a low turnout, I’ll know who to blame too – only it’s not the same person you’re saying.

    To be quite honest, I’m voting Tory – but I’d be more interested seeing Clegg on than Brown, since I know that nothing Brown says can be taken seriously, either because he has no intention of carrying out his plans, or quite simply, he and the Cabinet, and the Labour party, lack the political or economic skill to accomplish anything.

    Get some competent people, then try again. Just because you don’t want to run the risk of being knocked into 3rd, doesn’t mean nobody has a right to try.

  3. Low Browsted of IndieMinds if the Herald General gets at you to judge from Tobes’ experiences . .

  4. Is Steve putting money on his unlikely forecast, or is it just more tory twaddlng trollment?

    Labour has delivered rather better than rival governments elsewhere.

    We even missed the 2001 recession the USA led others into, and now have lower unemployment than most comparable countries.

    Labour may also be promoting an elected House of Lords of course, unlike Chameleon who would like to appoint every person in power anywhere in the country, including Bojo as Police Commissioner Gordon.

  5. Ain’t broken of course, just compare with sooo many other countries with far worse problems.

    Yer ‘Erald, lad, may well go along with the a-politicals who want to throw the box up in the air and see what comes down.

    You alternative libertarian bloggers will want some one to flim flam the flummeries . . .

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