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

6 Responses to “Campaign to ensure ordinary people have say in leaders’ debates”

  1. Deborah Doane

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaign to ensure ordinary people have say in leaders’ debates: http://is.gd/8zXc0 by Hannah Lownsbrough of @38_Degrees

  2. NewLeftProject

    RT @leftfootfwd: Campaign to ensure ordinary people have say in leaders’ debates: http://is.gd/8zXc0 by Hannah Lownsbrough of @38_Degrees

  3. Mark

    It sounds nice at first but I’m not so sure. Politicians are deft at taking questions from the public: it’s like a mouse trying to interrogate a lion. With years of media training and debating behind them, nothing can be easier than taking a one liner from someone about schools, then take another about Iraq, then another about unemployment because each time the response will be brief.

    It’s much harder when a skilled interviewer starts to peel away the layers of spin and pre-preparation. So rather than a few “vox pops”, real debate requires deep questioning and a skilled interviewer. This way we could get behind the hubris and boasts of Gordon Brown and the deeply superficial Cameron and start to tackle the real issues. I won’t hold my breath though.

  4. 38 Degrees

    Go to @leftfootfwd to read about our campaign to make sure ordinary people have a say in leaders' TV debates: http://is.gd/8zXc0

  5. Dave Knight

    RT @38_degrees: Go to @leftfootfwd to read about our campaign to make sure ordinary people have a say in leaders' TV debates: http://is.gd/8zXc0

  6. Campaign to ensure ordinary people have say in leaders’ debates « Scott LaPlant

    […] Campaign to ensure ordinary people have say in leaders’ debates from Left Foot Forward […]

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