Monday, September 17, 2007

Flashy But Lacking Substance

It's a federal election, not a gorilla fight

FEDERAL Labor is demanding a series of three debates between the leaders during the election campaign - including one using YouTube and one on the ABC - as it tries to goad the Government into naming an election date.

[silly speculation and beat-ups about leadership changes removed]

Yesterday Labor continued to tease the Government with its eagerness for an election campaign. Labor's national secretary, Tim Gartrell, emailed the federal director of the Liberal Party, Brian Loughnane, outlining requests for at least three debates between the leaders during the campaign.

Mr Gartrell wants one to be on the ABC, one to involve online participation via YouTube, and one to have a live "in the round" audience - with all webcast live.

"Given the impending 2007 federal election, I have been asked to commence immediate discussions with you over the televised leaders' debates," Mr Gartrell said in a letter to Mr Loughnane.


What's the point of debates if we can't ask the questions? They'll just do what they did last time. You'll get two candidates, because there aren't any other parties or candidates, and some washed up has-been from daytime TV will ask them soft questions on ridiculous issues that have relationship with actual peoples' lives. At the end, one of them will be declared maximum winner and the country will go and vote for someone else anyway. All completely pointless. Also, why throw in YouTube? Who wants to watch that for 2 hours?

It smacks of a US style presidential campaign with all the inherent faults. Our system isn't about a supreme leader, nor is the next election about exchanging one maximum leader for another. If someone complains about one man being an overly powerful extremist how does it follow that the solution must be to hand someone else the same corrupting total power the other bloke had? That's something that worries me and it's something that is a consequence of the past few years. It's sort of aussie style personality cult revolving around our leaders when our political system isn't designed like that. Of course the media love this silly mano a mano stuff that cheapens political discourse and gets them ratings. Personally I don't want to wind up living in a country where whoever bangs a stick on the ground loudest gets to lead.