I found it rather strange watching three people asking me to vote for them, when I can’t actually vote for any of them. OK, so I can vote for the parties they represent, but:
- The system is flawed and outside the marginals, our vote has no impact
- “Our representatives” tend to follow the party line – is that “our line”?
If we were really happy with such a system we might as well just vote for a national party list and delegate to the parties the allocation of MPs to constituencies. But that is the implication of Presidential style debates.
I found the first debate rather boring; three men reciting from briefs (that they had learnt well) and trying desperately hard not to make a mistake. The press have been on gaffe-watch saying that a gaffe is the most likely result – other than a stalemate. It is a bit like watching snooker players playing “safety play”; much appreciated by the cognoscenti, but boring and pointless to the occasional viewer.
To those of us outside the marginals it would not make much difference, but it would be more entertaining if we could have:
- Home Affairs: * Alan Johnson vs Grayling (I would buy tickets for this) vs Chris Huhne
- Foreign Affairs: * David Miliband vs William Hague vs Ed Davey vs Angus Robertson etc.
* Update 19/04 – this is actually happening at 2:15 pm today (see) but without the Nationalists
* Update 20/04 – this is actually happening at 2:15 pm today (see) but without the Nationalists. I have got my ticket!
Then the final debate could be between the leaders and could focus on key themes:
- Big State or Big Society?
- Support the Economy out of Recession or Cut to Survive?
- Economy vs Environment
- What is meant by National Sovereignty?