Campaign to ensure ordinary people have say in leaders’ debates

38 Degrees has launched a campaign to ensure the televised election debates between party leaders are a real opportunity for ordinary voters to have their say.

Today, 38 Degrees has launched a campaign to ensure the televised debates between party leaders in the run up to the general election are a real opportunity for ordinary voters to have their say on the issues they care about, rather than yet another stage-managed platform from which Cameron, Brown and Clegg deliver pre-packaged spin.

The campaign emerged from 38 Degrees’ discussions about plans for campaigning during the election: around 3,000 members have now been involved in a month-long process to identify top campaigning priorities in the run-up to the general election.

With the negotiations about the format of the debates already underway and PR gurus being shipped in from all corners of the globe to prepare the participants, now is the right time to be calling for a less stage-managed process that provides voters with real answers to their questions in the run-up to the campaign.

38 Degrees’ members are calling for debates where the majority of the questions are asked and chosen by the audience. Brown, Clegg and Cameron should have the opportunity to challenge one another’s answers and the questioners should also have the right of reply.
It’s also essential that the debates happen all around the UK, rather than just in London.

Earlier this week, the prime minister answered a series of questions – some of them very personal – from former tabloid editor Piers Morgan, while David Cameron seems keen to swerve most policy questions at the moment, but when he does answer them, he’s prioritising those from Glamour and Radio 1.

Journalists and TV presenters shouldn’t be the only ones getting their questions answered in the run up to the election.

Sign up to the campaign

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.