Monday, 13 October 2014

Great to debate, but let's have a format that reflects our multi-party era

The ERS helpfully commenting on the dodgy stitch-up debates format, that is excluding the Greens:

Great to debate, but let's have a format that reflects our multi-party era

Commenting on the broadcasters' proposal for three TV debates in the run up to the 2015 General Election [1], Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

"It's great to see some momentum behind the idea of TV debates. At their best, TV debates can make political issues come alive for the electorate, and after the success of 2010 voters expect to get this opportunity to hear directly from party leaders. It would be hugely disappointing to go back to the old days of no TV debates.

"But the format suggested by the broadcasters doesn't really reflect the fact that we are now firmly in a multi-party era. It's difficult to see how to justify the exclusion of smaller parties from the debates. And having a two-party duel between Labour and the Conservatives simply doesn't reflect the way people see politics these days. Democracy is about hearing from everyone, not just from the two men most likely to be Prime Minister.

"People have changed since the heyday of the two-party system, and they want to hear a variety of voices in politics. The debates should be an opportunity to hear from the leaders of all parties which command a significant amount of support.

"Of course there are practicalities to consider in order to decide where to draw the line, but the principle should be in favour of openness rather than shutting people out. We want to see a format that fairly represents all of the parties which field candidates across the country and which people support in significant numbers."

ENDS

For more information, interviews and comment, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 / will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk

[1] See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29595529

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The ERS helpfully commenting on the dodgy stitch-up debates format, that is excluding the Greens:

Great to debate, but let's have a format that reflects our multi-party era

Commenting on the broadcasters' proposal for three TV debates in the run up to the 2015 General Election [1], Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

"It's great to see some momentum behind the idea of TV debates. At their best, TV debates can make political issues come alive for the electorate, and after the success of 2010 voters expect to get this opportunity to hear directly from party leaders. It would be hugely disappointing to go back to the old days of no TV debates.

"But the format suggested by the broadcasters doesn't really reflect the fact that we are now firmly in a multi-party era. It's difficult to see how to justify the exclusion of smaller parties from the debates. And having a two-party duel between Labour and the Conservatives simply doesn't reflect the way people see politics these days. Democracy is about hearing from everyone, not just from the two men most likely to be Prime Minister.

"People have changed since the heyday of the two-party system, and they want to hear a variety of voices in politics. The debates should be an opportunity to hear from the leaders of all parties which command a significant amount of support.

"Of course there are practicalities to consider in order to decide where to draw the line, but the principle should be in favour of openness rather than shutting people out. We want to see a format that fairly represents all of the parties which field candidates across the country and which people support in significant numbers."

ENDS

For more information, interviews and comment, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 / will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk

[1] See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29595529

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This message was sent to Rupert. If you no longer wish to receive email from us, please follow the link below or copy and paste the entire link into your browser. http://www.xmr3.com/rm/1898067-89302583-2-1975-AV1-4D7F/rupertread@fastmail.co.uk/HCS1A22



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