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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Cameron, Brown and Clegg and the big TV debate

So, Peter Mandelson hints that Gordon Brown will participate in an Leaders TV debate at the forthcoming General Election (I still think it will be in October).

Gordon Brown's Downing Street spokesman slaps that down and says no way.

So Cameron then writes to Brown to clarify;

"I am writing to ask you to clarify the Government’s position on the issue of a television debate between the leaders of the main political parties.

Five months ago, when I challenged you at Prime Minister’s Questions to a televised studio debate, you refused. This morning, Lord Mandelson said you were open to the idea. But within an hour, a Downing Street spokesperson back-tracked, saying this was not the case.

The Government seems to have a number of positions on this.

I’ve only ever had one: a prime time televised debate is just what our political system needs.It would help to energise our democratic process, engage the electorate and restore trust in politics. Democracies across the world – from Australia to America to Brazil to Indonesia – have benefited from the invigorating effects of these debates. Even in Iran a series of television debates was held during the recent election campaign.

Your previous objection was that a televised debate was unnecessary as the issues were aired each week in parliament. But Prime Minister’s Questions simply cannot compete with the accessibility of a primetime studio debate. I want the chance to set out the choice at the next election to many more people than those who watch on a Wednesday lunchtime.

For these reasons I hope you will today make clear your position on this crucial issue."

At least Cameron has been sensible (gulp) and realises the only way this can happen is for the three main parties to participate in this debate, I am really pleased about this as Nick Clegg will hold his own on this kind of event.

Bring it on!

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